Eighty-seven healthy volunteers aged 60-81 years were randomly allocated to either an aerobic exercise class or a health education group. Only 6 subjects dropped out during the 32-week study, and the average compliance with the interventions was 83% for exercise (on average 83/100 individual exercise sessions were attended) and 71% for health education. The health education group showed improvements from the baseline in physical activity levels, pulse rate, blood pressure and self-rating of mood. The exercise group improved from baseline in knee and spine flexibility, leg and back strength, pulse rate, blood pressure, maximum physical exertion levels, self-rating of mood and perceived health status. Between group comparison at the end of the study showed the exercise group significantly better than the health education group in terms of spine flexion (p<0.0001), perceived health status (p<0.05), life satisfaction (p=0.05) and maximal physical exertion (p=0.01). This study has demonstrated the acceptability and effectiveness of an aerobic exercise class for the elderly, and the effectiveness of health education for this age group.
- Health education
- Randomised controlled trial