Meeting physical activity guidelines through community-based group exercise: "better bones and balance"

J Aging Phys Act. 2013 Apr;21(2):155-66. doi: 10.1123/japa.21.2.155. Epub 2012 Aug 14.


Objective: Community-based exercise programs are popular for achieving physical activity among older adults, but the amount of physical activity obtained through such programs is unknown. This study quantified the bone-loading forces and levels of cardiovascular activity associated with participation in "Better Bones and Balance" (BBB), a community-based fall- and fracture-prevention program for older adults.

Methods: Thirty-six postmenopausal women age 73.2 ± 7.6 yr engages in BBB participated in this study. Ground-reaction forces (GRFs) associated with BBB exercises were evaluated using a force platform. Session and weekly totals of minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and total time spent above 55% maximum heart rate (HR) were measured using accelerometers and HR monitors, respectively.

Results: BBB exercises produced mean 1-leg GRFs of 1.4-2.2 units body weight. Weekly BBB participation was associated with 126 ± 31 min of MVPA.

Conclusion: Activity obtained by BBB participation meets recommended guidelines for skeletal and cardiovascular health.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry
  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / prevention & control
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / prevention & control*
  • Postmenopause
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors