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Mature Adults May be More Likely to Keep Exercising in Same-Age Groups

Mature adults are not as active as they should be, with activity levels lowest in the Americas. A recent study suggests that mature adults are more likely to continue with a group exercise program if they are in a group of people their own age. However, no correlation was found between single gender groups and the likelihood that people stay with the program.


Participants in the study included 627 people with an average age of 72. All of the participants took part in a 12-week exercise class at YMCAs in Vancouver, Canada, with the option to extend participation for another 12 weeks once the first cycle ended. For the first cycle, the participants were divided into three groups: one consisted of the same age and gender, one of the same age but mixed gender, and one open to people of all ages and genders. The first two groups were taught by older adult instructors who were specifically recruited and trained for the study, while the last group was led by a regular YMCA instructor.


The researchers found that, over the entire 24-week period, the participants who worked out with people in their own age group attended an average 9.5 more classes than those who worked out in the mixed age classes. Specifically, the mixed-age group attended an average of 24.3 classes; the mixed-gender group attended an average 33.8 classes; and those in the same gender and same age group attended an average 30.7 classes.


Researchers from the University of Columbia conducted the study. It was published in the May 2018 issue of Health Psychology.


Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. Previous clinical studies suggest that even moderate exercise may help with blood sugar control, body weight reduction, improved heart health, improved respiratory health and reduced risk of dying prematurely.

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