ImPACt Study Update: Improving physical activity for community-dwelling older adults through trained volunteers
The ImPACt study is well underway with 7 active volunteers trained and delivering exercise at their social clubs. Club member recruitment targets have been reached and participants have enjoyed receiving a health MOT as part of the data collection process, including measurement of their health status and function and their activity levels, including step counts.
Early in the study the exercises were delivered using an online platform, which could bring its challenges. Interviews with club members, volunteers and staff have helped to identify any barriers and facilitators to the implementation of the intervention and have helped in the development of resources to support volunteer training and development. Most clubs are starting to return to an in-person format with members pleased to be meeting again and volunteers enjoying more interaction during the exercises.
In response to participant feedback resistance bands have now been introduced into the programme to help challenge club members strength and to provide variety to the exercise sessions. You can see the exercises that the clubs have been completing in the video links below.
ImPACT resistance band exercises with Dr Sam Meredith on Vimeo
Overall, feedback on the ImPACt programme has been very encouraging. A club member shared, ‘I like the exercises; they’re simple, they don’t strain in anyway, and of course it’s in company. We are all doing it together and it makes such a difference. I quite enjoy them. The volunteers delivering the exercises are one of us, and they’re fun; we have a laugh!’
The study aims to complete in Spring next year with participants completing repeat measurements after 6 months of receiving the exercise intervention. Following analyses we hope the programme can be integrated more widely across clubs to help support older adults physical activity, health and well-being.
Fit and Fun Poem Christmas time is drawing near, Full of laughter and good cheer, To all the folks in Brendoncare, Now is the time to show we care. Forget the year of twenty twenty, When all the clubs were stood empty, Rest assured we are getting back, With lots of meetings back on track. One for sure that is every week Is our zooming Fridays fit & fun meet Every week we meet online To do our exercises in time We raise our arms and march our feet All whist sitting on a comfy seat (NOT) Squeezing our bottoms and breathing in deep, It’s just part of our weekly meet. Then onto a game / puzzle or chat Always fun that fills a gap. Taking part you may sometimes win A prize from your own treat tin. It’s not about the winning, it’s about the taking part Friendships formed and laughter from the heart. All the members having fun, We thought these days would never come, So with this year that’s almost done, From all of us at fit and fun! Merry Christmas everyone!