Skip to main content Accessibility help

Long-term Evaluation of the “Get Fit for Active Living” Program

  • Liza Stathokostas (a1), Mark Speechley (a2), Robert M. D. Little (a1), Shawna Doerksen (a3), Jennifer Copeland (a4) and Donald H. Paterson (a1)...
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.


This study examined six- and 12-month levels of adherence to physical activity, functional changes, and psychosocial determinants of physical activity in 176 older adults who participated in the “Get Fit for Active Living (GFAL)” pilot program. Functional and psychosocial measures were conducted in person at six months; psychosocial measures and physical activity participation were assessed by telephone interview at 12 months. Ninety-five per cent were retained in the study at the six-month follow-up, and 88 per cent at 12 months. The self-reported adherence rate to exercise at 12 months was 66 per cent. The main reason for continued exercise participation was to maintain health (45%). Reasons for nonadherence were illness (38%) and lack of motivation (32%). Results identify factors associated with positive behaviour change that health promoters can utilize when targeting the older adult population. The GFAL project results can serve as a model for sustainable, community-based older-adult exercise programs.

Cette étude a examiné les niveaux de 6 et 12 mois d’adhésion à l’activité physique, les changements fonctionnels et les déterminants psychosociaux de l’activité physique chez 176 adultes âgés qui ont participé au programme pilote «Get Fit for Active Living» (GFAL). Des mesures fonctionnelles et psychosociales ont été menées en personne à 6 mois; à 12 mois, les mesures psychosociales et la participation à l’activité physique ont été évaluées par interview téléphonique. Quatre-vingt-quinze pour cent ont été retenus dans l’étude au suivi de 6 mois, et 88 pour cent à 12 mois. Le taux d’adhésion autodéclaré à l’exercice à 12 mois était de 66%. La principale raison de la participation continue dans l’exercice était de maintenir la santé (45%). Les motifs de non-respect étaient la maladie (38%) et le manque de motivation (32%). Les résultats identifient les facteurs associés aux changements positifs de comportement que les promoteurs peuvent utiliser lorsqu’ils ciblent une population âgée. Les résultats du projet GFAL peuvent servir de modèle pour des programmes d’exercices durables et communautaires pour les aînés.


Corresponding author

La correspondance et les demandes de tire-à-part doivent être adressées à : / Correspondence and requests for offprints should be sent to: Liza Stathokostas, Ph.D. 3M Centre 2225 School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences Western University London, ON, N6A 3K7 (


Hide All
* The authors thank research assistants Tara Clark and Matthew McDonald. Also, thanks to Larry Stitt for his statistical consultation and data analyses.
† In the original online version of this article, the affiliations of Mark Speechley and Shawna Doerksen were incorrectly listed. A corrigendum in which the affiliations are correctly listed has been published on page 123 of this issue.
Funding for this study was supported by a Canadian Institute of Health Research Mobility in Aging Operating Grant (grant number 187595).



Hide All
Andre, N., & Dishman, R. K. (2012). Evidence for the construct validity of self-motivation as a correlate of exercise adherence in French older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 20, 231245.
Baruth, M. & Wilcox, S. (2013). Predictors of physical activity 6-months post intervention in the active for life initiative. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 11(2), 256–65.
Baruth, M., Wilcox, S., Wegley, S., Buchner, D. M., Ory, M. G., Phillips, A., ... & Bazzarre, T. L. (2011). Changes in physical functioning in the active living every day program of the active for life initiative. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 18(3), 199208.
Bassett, D. R. (2012). Device-based monitoring in physical activity and public health research. Physiological Measurement, 33, 17691783.
Cohen-Mansfield, J., Marx, M. S., & Guralnik, J. M. (2003). Motivators and barriers to exercise in an older community-dwelling population. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 11, 242253.
Colley, R. C., Garriguet, D., Janssen, I., Craig, C. L., Clarke, J., & Tremblay, M. S. (2011). Physical activity of Canadian adults: Accelerometer results from the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Statistics Canada Health Reports, Vol. 22(1).
Conn, V. S., Minor, M. A., Burks, K. J., Rantz, M. J., & Pomeroy, S. H. (2003). Integrative review of physical activity intervention research with aging adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 51, 11591168.
Costello, E., Kafchinski, M., Vrazel, J., & Sullivan, P. (2011). Motivators, barriers, and beliefs regarding physical activity in an older adult population. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, 34, 138147.
Cress, M. E., Buchner, D., Rimmer, J., Prohaska, T., Brown, M., Macera, C., ... & Chodzko-Zajko, W. (2004). Physical activity programs and behaviour counselling in older adult populations. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(11), 19972003.
Gill, D. P., Jones, G. R., Zou, G. Y., & Speechley, M. (2008). The Phone-FITT: A brief physical activity interview for older adults. Journal of the American Planning Association, 16, 292315.
Graf, C. (2006). Functional decline in hospitalized older adults. The American Journal of Nursing, 106, 5867.
Guralnik, J. M., Simonsick, E. M., Ferrucci, L., Glynn, R. J., Berkman, L. F., Blazer, D. G., ... &Wallace, R. B. (1994). A short physical performance battery assessing lower extremity function: association with self-reported disability and prediction of mortality and nursing home admission. Journal of Gerontology, 49(2), M85M94.
King, A. C., Puglisi, C. M., Phillips, W., Oka, R., Rodenburg, A., & Haskell, W. L. (2000). Comparative effects of two physical activity programs on measured and perceived physical functioning and other health-related quality of life outcomes in older adults. Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 55, M74M83.
Marcus, B. H., Napolitano, M. A., King, A. C., Lewis, B. A., Whiteley, J. A., Albrecht, A., ... & Jakicic, J. (2007). Telephone versus print delivery of an individualized motivationally tailored physical activity intervention: Project STRIDE. Health Psychology, 26(4), 401.
Marcus, B. H., Selby, V. C., Niaura, R. S., & Rossi, J. S. (1992). Self-efficacy and the stages of exercise behavior change. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 63, 6066.
Marcus, B. H., Williams, D. M., Dubbert, P. M., Sallis, J. F., King, A. C., Yancey, A. K., … & Claytor, R. P. (2006). Physical Activity Intervention Studies. Circulation, 114, 27392752.
McAuley, E. (1993). Self-efficacy and the maintenance of exercise participation in older adults. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 16, 103113.
Morey, M. C., Dubbert, P. M., Doyle, M. E., MacAller, H., Crowley, G. M., Kuchibhatla, M., … & Horner, R. D. (2003). From supervised to unsupervised exercise: Factors associated with exercise adherence. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 11, 351368.
Muller-Riemenschneider, F., Reinhold, T., Nocon, M., & Willich, S. N. (2008). Long-term effectiveness of interventions promoting physical activity: A systematic review. Preventive Medicine, 47, 354368.
O’Neill, K., & Reid, G. (1991). Perceived barriers to physical activity by older adults. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 82, 392396.
Ostir, G. V., Cohen-Mansfield, J., Leveille, S., Volpato, S., & Guralnik, J. M. (2003). The association of positive and negative affect and exercise self-efficacy in older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 11, 265274.
Rejeski, W. J., Marsh, A. P., Chmelo, E., Prescott, A. J., Dobrosielski, M., Walkup, M. P., ... & Kritchevsky, S. (2009). The lifestyle interventions and independence for elders pilot (LIFE-P): 2-year follow-up. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 64(4), 462467.
Rejeski, W. J., Fielding, R. A., Blair, S. N., Guralnik, J. M., Gill, T. M., Hadley, E. C., ... & Pahor, M. (2005). The lifestyle interventions and independence for elders (LIFE) pilot study: Design and methods. Contemporary clinical trials, 26(2), 141154.
Rikil, R. E., & Jones, C. J. (2001). Senior Fitness Test Manual. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Simonsick, E. M., Guralnik, J. M., Volpato, S., Balfour, J., & Fried, L. P. (2005). Just get out the door! Importance of walking outside the home for maintaining mobility: Findings from the women’s health and aging study. Journal of the American Geriatric Society, 53, 198203.
Stathokostas, L., Speechley, M., Little, R. M. D., Doerksen, S., & Paterson, D. H. (2016). The Get Fit for Active Living demonstration project: Evaluation of a Canadian older adult physical activity education program. Evaluation report submitted to the Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging. London, ON: Western University. Retrieved from
Wilcox, S., Dowda, M., Griffin, S. F., Rheaume, C., Ory, M. G., Leviton, L., … & Estabrooks, P. A. (2006). Results of the first year of active for life: Translation of 2 evidence-based physical activity programs for older adults into community settings. American Journal of Public Health, 96(7), 12011209.
Wójcicki, T. R., White, S. M., & McAuley, E. (2009). Assessing outcome expectations in older adults: The multidimensional outcome expectations for exercise scale. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 64(1), 3340.


Long-term Evaluation of the “Get Fit for Active Living” Program

  • Liza Stathokostas (a1), Mark Speechley (a2), Robert M. D. Little (a1), Shawna Doerksen (a3), Jennifer Copeland (a4) and Donald H. Paterson (a1)...
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

A correction has been issued for this article: