FAU Conducts Study on Senior Adult
Researchers Seek Volunteers for Control Group
BOCA RATON, FL (July 14, 2010) – Florida Atlantic University’s department of exercise science and health promotion within the College of Education is conducting a study to compare the fitness levels between senior adults who regularly take part in the FAU Well Program with a control group of senior adults who are not part of this program and who may or may not be engaged in fitness activities.
Co-principle investigators Sue Graves, Ed.D., and Anita D’Angelo, M.Ed., are spearheading the “Effectiveness of a University-based Senior Fitness Program” study. Graves and D’Angelo hope that when the study ends in six months, they will be able to use the research to fine-tune or re-think the FAU Well Program, a free and ongoing morning walking and exercise program for the 55+ community, offered on FAU’s Boca Raton campus since 1988.
“Looking at this control group will help the department scientifically measure and gauge the effectiveness of the morning classes we offer for senior adults,” said D’Angelo. “By hosting this outstanding program for senior adults, a university-based program that promotes community health and fitness, FAU has gained respect and recognition on many different levels.”
The co-investigators are seeking 30 male and female volunteers to be tested for this study. The 45-minute Senior Fitness Test (SFT) will be administered at the Field House and the FAU Arena, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus. Subjects must be 55 years of age or older and be able to participate in at least six minutes of walking and other basic exercises. Each potential subject is required to obtain written permission from his or her physician prior to participation and must complete a health history questionnaire and an activity inventory. Control subjects are asked to refrain from vigorous exercise and excessive alcohol use 24 hours prior to testing. Caffeine should be avoided three hours before testing.
Prior to beginning the test, subjects are led through a five-minute warm-up and stretching routine. The actual SFT consists of the following components: “Chair Stand,” “Arm Curls,” “Six-Minute Walking,” “Chair Sit and Reach,” “Back Scratch” and the “Eight-Foot-Go.” Completion of these exercises reveals a person’s basic fitness level, flexibility, agility, range of joint motion, leg and arm strength, and cardio-respiratory endurance. Subjects are asked to return 12 weeks later for repeat testing, and a separate 15-minute balance assessment, using an Equi-test machine, which is administered as part of this study as well. All volunteers receive a balance and fitness evaluation and a fitness prescription at the end of their second session. It is anticipated that subjects who complete the two-part test will gain a greater awareness of their own fitness levels and needs.
About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit www.fau.edu .