203240 Increasing Functional Physical Activity among Older Adults Using Internet-based Video Conferencing: A Pilot Case Study

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lesa Lorenzen-Huber, PhD , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Fernando Ona, PhD, MPH , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Carol A. Kennedy-Armbruster, MS , Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Background: Many older adults' exercise focus is on enhancing their quality of life and ability to perform activities of daily living. However, many older adults may find challenges to participating in or accessing formal exercise programs.

Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to determine how to bring exercise to older adult populations that may not participate in formal group exercise or fitness programs.

Methods: Technological advances in internet-based video interventions provided an opportunity to deliver classes to eight 60-80 year-old participants. Participants turned on their television two times per week for 8 weeks for 45 minutes. The research team provided group instruction through internet-based video conferencing using the television. Unique to this program was the content focus on both basic exercises for improving strength and flexibility coupled with an emphasis on relevant “biomotor” or “life movement” abilities. The study team also visited the individual clients, performed health screenings, and set up the technology in their homes prior to starting the program. A focus on functional training was incorporated into the program content through the specific exercises taught.

Results: Using technology provided a way to have a group session without requiring subjects to travel to a facility and participants felt they were in a group exercise class in their homes. Pre-and post-test strength, muscle, balance and flexibility variables indicated positive increases and participants reported adding functional exercise into their everyday routines. Utilizing internet video conferencing for exercise presents an opportunity to expand group fitness offerings to the home environment.

Learning Objectives:
Assess the impact of using internet-based video conferencing on functional exercise among older adults. Describe the importance of distance-based physical activity interventions. Identify the need to integrate physical activity and health concepts in order to increase physical activity participation.

Keywords: Telehealth, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a gerontologist with a PhD in gerontology and public health. I have collaborated with public health professionals in this field to create interventions that improve the health and well being of older adults. I have an extensive publication record in gerontology and continue to support efforts to use innovations in technology to deliver public health programs to older adults.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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