Knowing who is most likely to drop out of a new exercise program can be valuable information for wellness professionals. A recent study found that for seniors, health-related quality of life before starting a new program was the most predictive factor in determining whether or not they would stick with the regimen. Aspects of health- related quality of life that were measured included depression and fatigue, among others.
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland observed 135 generally healthy seniors aged 65–85 who participated in either a conventional exercise program or a yoga program over a 6-month period. The investigators discovered that class attendance correlated closely to baseline measures of depression, fatigue and physical aspects of health-related quality of life. The findings were published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2007; 7 ; doi:10.1186/1472–6882–7–37).
The study authors recommended that more studies be done to determine how to improve exercise adherence, especially for people whose profiles suggest they would have a high likelihood of dropping out of a new activity program.