Background: This cluster randomised controlled trial aimed to determine if a 6 months home-based intervention could improve the physical activity and dietary behaviours of adults aged 60 to 80 years living in retirement villages located in Perth, Western Australia.
Methods: Participants (n=363) from 38 retirement villages were recruited into the trial and allocated to the intervention (n=197: 17 sites) or control (n=166: 21 sites) group and were blinded. Previously validated instruments-Fat and Fibre Barometer and International Physical Activity Questionnaire, along with anthropometric measures (weight, height, waist and hip circumferences) and blood pressure were collected at baseline and 6 month time period. Comparisons between intervention and control groups were undertaken pre- and post- intervention using univariate chi-square and t-tests. Multi-level mixed regression analyses were then conducted to ascertain the effects of the intervention on changes in the outcome variables over time and between groups.
Results: A total of 139 (70.5%) intervention and 141 (84.9%) control group participants completed program and post-test assessments. The intervention group demonstrated significant increases in time (80 minutes more per week on average) devoted to moderate-intensity physical activity, engagement in strength exercises (from 23.7% to 48.2%), frequency of fruit consumed as well as fat avoidance and fibre intake scores, in addition to 0.5 kg mean reduction in weight post program, whereas no apparent changes were observed in the control group. Mixed regression results further confirmed statistically significant improvements in weight loss (p<0.05), engagement in strength exercises (p<0.001) and fruit intake (p=0.012) by the intervention participants at post-test relative to their controls.
Conclusions: Retirement offers a time to reassess lifestyle, and adopt positive health enhancing physical activity and dietary behaviours. This intervention was successful in improving weight, engagement in strength exercises, increasing levels of moderate-intensity physical activity and consumption of fruit among retirement village residents. Further investigation is needed on how to better engage retirement village managers in such programs.
Trial Registration: Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (ACTRN12612001168842) registered November 2, 2012.
- Retirement villages
- Physical activity
- Strength exercise
- Fruit and vegetable intake
- Weight management