Older adults are more likely to stick with a group exercise program if they can do it with people their own age, a new University of British Columbia study has found.
Working out with peers of the same gender doesn’t seem to make a difference – it’s the age that counts.
“This study points to the importance of age-targeting, but perhaps not gender-targeting, when developing these programs,” says UBC kinesiology professor Mark Beauchamp, the study’s lead author.
Older adults worldwide are less active than they should be, with activity levels lowest in the Americas. In Canada, fewer than 15 per cent of people past age 59 meet international physical activity guidelines. Beauchamp and his international team of researchers have been looking for ways to keep people active into old age, because inactivity has been shown to increase risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and arthritis. It can also lead to physical limitations that affect overall quality of life.