California Agencies Promote Strength-Training Programs for Older Adults

Developing physical activity programs for older adults

Staff of the California Center for Physical Activity a joint program of the University of California, San Francisco, Institute for Health & Aging and the California Department of Health Services awarded grants to 19 community agencies to establish Active Aging Community Task Forces.

These task forces promoted and provided strength-training, balance and mobility classes to older adults in the 28 California counties with the highest levels of nonfatal injuries from falls among individuals age 50 and older.

Key Results

  • The grant accomplished the following, according to staff of the California Center for Physical Activity and a program evaluation published in Evaluation and Program Planning:

    • Drew more than 12,500 older adults from diverse community settings into strength-training, balance and mobility classes.
    • Created 315 new strength-training, balance and mobility classes and incorporated strength training, balance and mobility into 157 existing exercise classes.
    • Conducted 36 workshops to train 416 senior fitness class instructors.
    • Documented participant gains in functional fitness, especially in low back/hip range of motion, aerobic endurance, agility/dynamic balance and lower and upper arm strength.
    • Promoted institutional changes to foster a stronger focus on physical activity among older populations.