Diego Diaz-Vega1, Nicholas J. Spokely1, Kelsey J. Weitzel2, Marta Novaes Oliveira2, Kristin A. Miller2, Stephen D. Ball2, & Breanne S. Baker1

1Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma; 2University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Sarcopenia is becoming more prevalent in young-middle-aged adults (18-59 years). The Stay Strong, Stay Healthy (SSSH) community-based exercise program was designed to improve older adults’ (age >60 years) functional health, but recently, SSSH has been disseminated to young-middle-aged adults, despite a lack of research supporting its efficacy in this population. PURPOSE: To determine if SSSH could improve functional health in adults residing in urban or rural areas who were <60 years of age. METHODS: Participants from 44 rural counties (n=90) and 21 urban counties (n=45), age 25-59 years, completed eight weeks of SSSH. Each week consisted of two one-hour training sessions, which included a warm-up, followed by wide leg squats, knee extensions, hamstring curls, glute extensions, shoulder presses, biceps curls, bent over rows, and toe stands at a 2:4 tempo, then a cool-down. Pre/post data collection measured the 30-second sit-to-stand (30STS), timed-up-and-go (TUG), sit-n-reach (SnR), back scratch (BS), and six, progressively more difficult balance poses. Paired t-tests with Bonferroni corrections were used to compare whole group performance change and 2x2 mixed repeated measures analyses of variance were used for rural/urban comparisons. When warranted, Bonferroni post-hoc analyses were used, α≤0.05. RESULTS: The whole group improved all performance measures (all p<0.001). Further, both rural and urban participants significantly improved all measures over time (all p<0.001) with 30STS, TUG, and total balance scores being highlighted in Figure 1. Furthermore, the magnitude of improvement was similar between rural and urban groups (all p≥0.124). CONCLUSION: These data suggest that despite SSSH being created for aging adults, those under 59 years of age can experience significant improvements to muscle function, flexibility, and balance. Additionally, these benefits are similar for adults who reside in either rural or urban locations.

Figure 1.docx (84 kB)
Figure 1

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