Evaluating the Factors Associated With the Completion of a Community-Based Group Exercise Program Among Older Women

J Aging Phys Act. 2016 Oct;24(4):649-658. doi: 10.1123/japa.2015-0281. Epub 2016 Aug 24.


Despite the well-known benefits of exercise, only 50% of U.S. women met recommended physical activity levels in 2014. To combat this issue, the Healthy Aging Regional Collaborative of South Florida has been offering the EnhanceFitness (EF) program in community-based settings since 2008. In the current study, we examined the factors associated with the program completion among older women (≥ 60 years). During the first 4 years, 3,829 older women attended EF sessions. Of these, 924 (24.2%) attended the recommended 32 sessions within first 4 months. Results revealed that women who lived in Miami-Dade County, were ≥ 80 years, and did not report depression and/or risk factors for chronic conditions were more likely to complete EF. Black women were less likely to complete the program. Recognition of these factors might help identify at-risk individuals. More efforts are needed to improve completion rates. Theory-based interventions would allow comprehensive understanding of all factors and, therefore, should be explored in the future.

Keywords: adherence; older women; physical activity.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Risk Factors