Evaluation of Physical Activity Programs Taking Place at The Pike Market Senior Center
Dostal, Christine Lechner
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Background: Physical activity provides many benefits for older adults, including the prevention and control of heart disease, prevention of obesity, management of diabetes, increased independence, increased socialization and decreased levels of depression. Through the physical activity classes SAIL and yoga, the Pike Market Senior Center offers their members the opportunity to participate in physical activity multiple times per week. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to conduct a program evaluation of the SAIL and yoga classes offered by the Senior Center with the goal of using these findings to assist the Senior Center to improve their physical activity programs. The Senior Center was interested in understanding ways in which the physical activity programs are meeting the program's’ objectives. Methods: A one-group posttest-only design utilizing direct observations and semi structured interviews was used to conduct this study. A total of 20 observations were done between the dates of June 10, 2015 and December 14, 2015 and 15 semi structured interviews took place between December 14, 2015 and February 4, 2016. Analysis: Direct observation notes and semi structured interview transcripts were analyzed using Atlas.ti software and the process of content analysis. The main question this study sought to answer is, are the SAIL and yoga classes having the intended effect on those who participant in the classes? Findings: The physical activity programs improved physical function, minimized the risk of disease, and provided opportunities to be more engaged in life yet some areas for improvement were also identified. Conclusion: The Senior Center physical activity programs have been effective in meeting most of the programs objectives yet there are areas that can be strengthened. Further research is needed to understand the barriers faced by the Senior Center members who do not participate in the physical activity program.
- Health services