Older adults' experiences of group-based physical activity

A qualitative study from the ‘GOAL’ randomized controlled trial

E. V. Bennett, L. Hurd Clarke, S. A. Wolf, W. L. Dunlop, S. M. Harden, Y. Liu, Paul A Estabrooks, R. E. Rhodes, M. R. Beauchamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: In this qualitative study, we examined older adults' experiences of taking part in two efficacious group-based physical activity programs as part of the GrOup-based physical Activity for oLder adults (GOAL) randomized controlled trial. Method: In the GOAL Trial, 627 older adults were randomized to one of three conditions: similar age same gender (SASG), similar age mixed gender (SAMG), or 'standard’ mixed age mixed gender (MAMG) control exercise group conditions. Participants in this qualitative study (N = 31; Nmen = 17, Nwomen = 14; Mage = 70 years) were purposively sampled from the two experimental conditions (SASG, SAMG) and involved in semi-structured interviews. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: The results included 12 lower-order and three higher-order themes that reflected (a) the benefits and challenges of exercising with peers, (b) the group as a means of mitigating social isolation, and (c) group exercise and the physically active body. Discussion: Findings highlight the importance of social connections that exist within the age-matched physical activity programs, as well as some of the challenges for older adults participating in community-based physical activity programs. Implications for intervention, program planning, and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-192
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Volume39
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

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Peer Group
Social Isolation
Randomized Controlled Trials
Interviews
Control Groups

Keywords

  • Group-dynamics
  • Intervention
  • Physical activity
  • Self-categorization theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

Older adults' experiences of group-based physical activity : A qualitative study from the ‘GOAL’ randomized controlled trial. / Bennett, E. V.; Hurd Clarke, L.; Wolf, S. A.; Dunlop, W. L.; Harden, S. M.; Liu, Y.; Estabrooks, Paul A; Rhodes, R. E.; Beauchamp, M. R.

In: Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Vol. 39, 01.11.2018, p. 184-192.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bennett, E. V. ; Hurd Clarke, L. ; Wolf, S. A. ; Dunlop, W. L. ; Harden, S. M. ; Liu, Y. ; Estabrooks, Paul A ; Rhodes, R. E. ; Beauchamp, M. R. / Older adults' experiences of group-based physical activity : A qualitative study from the ‘GOAL’ randomized controlled trial. In: Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 2018 ; Vol. 39. pp. 184-192.
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