Nicholas Spokely1, Kelsey Weitzel2, Kristin Miller2, Marta Oliveira2, Stephen Ball2 and Breanne Baker1

1Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

2University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Community-based exercise programs (CEP) are effective at reducing fall risk and improving quality of life in older adults. However, most CEPs don’t include multiple progressive levels, leading to greater attrition and training plateaus. The Stay Strong, Stay Healthy resistance training program (SSSH) has level 1 and level 2. To date there is a vast body of evidence demonstrating the efficacy of level 1, but there are no data on level 2. PURPOSE: This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of SSSH level 2 in rural and urban locations and across different age groups. METHODS: A total of 404 participants completed the eight-week level 2 program (urban, n=225; rural, n=179). These participants were further stratified based on age groups: (60-69, n=188; 70-79, n=140; 80+, n=42). SSSH level 2 consists of two sessions a week for 60 minutes with ten exercises being performed using a 2:4 second tempo. Pre and post measures tested lower body strength, gait, flexibility, and balance. Repeated measure ANOVAs were used to compare group x time interactions and main effects for time and geographic and age groups. Significant interaction models for age groups were further decomposed using one-way ANOVA and Bonferroni post hoc procedures, α=0.05. RESULTS: Urban and rural groups improved all measures overtime (p≤0.039); but, those in the rural group started and ended the study with worse single legged balance (p=0.048). For the age groups, all measures were improved overtime (p≤0.029); but, those in their 80’s+ had the worst 30 sec sit-to-stand (30STS), timed-up-and-go (TUG), and total balance scores (Figure 1; all post hocs p≤0.006). Furthermore, those in their 60’s had the best TUG and total balance scores (Figure 1; all post hocs p≤0.022). CONCLUSION: This study shows that the progressive SSSH level 2 program is equally effective at improving physical function in urban and rural older adults across various age groups, suggesting the program is well suited for widespread dissemination.

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