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Quality of Life Impacts Program Retention in Seniors

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 [37]; 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.

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Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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