AbstractParticipation in physical activity can improve health in older adults. However, opportunities for participation are often limited. Improvements in self-motivated physical activity participation could potentially lead to improvements in health, quality of life and reduced financial strain faced by healthcare and social services. It is important to put in place initiatives to improve physical activity participation. The present thesis looked to test the feasibility of a one-day health and functional fitness workshop (MOT) through the analysis of workshop recruitment, delivery and impact from participation. The thesis will determine whether it is feasible to develop a larger scale project that could evaluate the effectiveness of the MOT as health promotion event. Study 1 (Chapter 3) evaluated the recruitment into the feasibility trial, the adherence, and the characteristics of enrolled participants. Recruitment was conducted via a local charity database and was comprised of an internally devised vulnerability flow chart comprising charity criteria associated with vulnerability. In line with the premise of the MOT event, inclusion criteria required participants to be aged over 60. Average age of recruited participants was 73 ± 6.89 years, ranging from 60-109 years. Results show that the recruitment for the workshop may vary depending on vulnerability and rurality of participants. If participants with increased vulnerability are required, direct contact may prove most beneficial through postal services; however, costs will likely be higher than if social marketing or advertising were implemented. Study 2 (Chapter 4) evaluated the effect of two methods of delivery, involving a peer-led or studentled MOT. Peer assessors consisted of previous attendees while students consisted of Sport and Exercise Science Students. Average age of participants was 76 ± 8 years for the peer-led group and 71 ± 5 years for the student-led group. Average age of peer volunteers was 67 ± 4.09 years. Results show that overall, both methods of delivery resulted in positive feedback. Differences were observed for aspects related to assessment relevance and self-motivated improvements in behaviours, with the peer-led lower compared with student-led. Study 3 (Chapter 5) evaluated the potential benefits of the MOT event for attendees in improving physical activity, physical literacy, health literacy, wellbeing and quality of life using a randomized control study design. Participants were randomly allocated to either the control (no MOT attendance) or intervention (MOT attendance) group. Average age of participants was 71 ± 5 years for the intervention group and 76 ± 8 years for the control group. Participation in the MOT suggested a positive effect on health literacy, physical activity participation and wellbeing, but not in physical literacy, health promotion literacy or quality of life compared with the control group. MOT participation resulted in self-reported improvements in healthy living behaviours and additional research being made into healthy eating and general physical activity opportunities. Overall, participation in the MOT provides potentially a cost effective method for improving physical activity participation and inciting eventual possible health improvements. Benefits comprise the low cost involved, ability to engage with more than 60 people in a single day, no need for qualified NHS staff, and positive attendee experience. The programme is deliverable by volunteers in relatively small community locations. The programme can be relocated and still run
effectively with minor equipment needed; however, response may be negatively affected by the use of volunteers. A combination of direct contact and advertising would prove most beneficial to ensure costs are kept low, and participants who are in greatest need to receive the service are able to participate. The programme may benefit from being conducted bi- or tri annually, or with a follow up exercise intervention, to provide a cost effective approach whilst ensuring maintained physical activity participation. The over 60’s one-day health and functional fitness workshop (MOT) provides a feasible method for improving the health and fitness of older adults and thus could be further developed into a larger scale (pilot) project to determine its effectiveness.
|Date of Award||2019|
|Sponsors||Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships|
|Supervisor||Marco Arkesteijn (Supervisor) & Rhys Thatcher (Supervisor)|