Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Rimmer, James H.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)


Department of Physical Education


Exercise for the aged--Illinois


This study evaluated non-therapeutic exercise programs offered in senior living facilities (SLFs), which included nursing homes (NHs), licensed (LCCRC) and not licensed (CCRC) continuing care retirement communities and senior independent living apartments (ILA). The evaluation of the exercise programs was based on five criteria: (a) number of different classes offered; (b) educational level of the instructors; (c) exercise setting; (d) staffing levels of the exercise program; and (e) equipment. Comparisons were made by facility size, ownership status, and type of SLF. Out of 277 surveyed facilities, 159 questionnaires were returned. Significant differences (p < 0.001) were found among four types of SLFs: NH, CCRC, LCCRC, and ILA. There were no significant differences based on ownership status (non-for profit organization, proprietary, govemmental- owned), and only one of the five criteria was found to be significant by facility size (fewer than 100 residents, more than 100 residents). The descriptive data revealed that chair exercises were the most common form of exercise found in SLFs, followed by stretching and supervised walking. Results of the study also found that 48% of the exercise programs were led by exercise leaders who did not have a degree in exercise science, physical education, nursing or physical therapy and that the programs were mainly offered in multipurpose rooms or other facilities such as dining rooms, hallways or lounges. Less than 40% of the SLFs had a designated room used exclusively for exercise. Evaluation of the exercise programs by frequency and duration of activity revealed that less than 27% of the SLFs followed the American College of Sports Medicine?s (ACSM?s) exercise guidelines. In conclusion, this study found that there is little consistency in the type of exercise programs that are offered to older adults in SLFs. Future research should evaluate the benefits of the exercise classes that are presently offered in these facilities.


Includes bibliographical references.


68 pages




Northern Illinois University

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