Development and Evaluation of a Senior-Tailored Elastic Band Exercise Program
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Purpose: Elastic band exercise is recognized as a safe and effective strategy to improve muscle strength and power and increase the ability of seniors to perform functional tasks. This study aimed to: 1) develop a tailored elastic band exercise program for seniors, 2) to evaluate its feasibility for seniors, and 3) to determine appropriate elastic band exercise frequencies and preferences of seniors. Methods: This study had two phases. In Phase I, 11 professional experts were consulted to develop the Senior Elastic Band (SEB) exercise program. They responded to detailed description and demonstrations of the program contained on both a hard copy and a DVD. In Phase II, 20 seniors were interviewed for their feedback on the SEB after participating in one month of instructor-led SEB group practice. Both quantitative and qualitative strategies were included in the program evaluation. Results: The experts were fairly consistent in evaluating the SEB for its simplicity, safety, suitability, and helpfulness. The participants rated the SEB highly and commented that the program was feasible, safe, suitable, and helpful. They also suggested practicing SEB three times per week for 60 minutes per session in a large group of 20 to 29 people. Conclusion: Based on the feedback from the experts and the seniors, the final SEB included three phases with 20 movements. The program took 40 minutes to complete. Since the program is fairly accepted by this group of seniors, it could be considered to be used as a complementary health practice for seniors. The beneficial effects of the SEB should be further tested in a large random sample of community seniors before it is disseminated internationally.