The effects of attendance and effort on outcomes among older adults in a long-term exercise program



To determine if attendance and effort could differentiate changes in cognitive and physical functioning, 66 older adults received a prescription heart rate to be achieved during supervised regular exercise sessions over a 9-month period. These 30-min sessions of aerobic training on a cycle ergometer were conducted three times per week. Cognitive variables and physical functioning were measured at baseline and following 4.5 months and 9 months of training. Attendance and effort scores (ATTEFF) were used to divide subjects into low ATTEFF (N = 29) and high ATTEFF (N = 37) groups. Following 9 months of training these groups were significantly different on life satisfaction and selected measures of health perception, but not on measures of either mental status or submaximum or resting heart rate. Maximum physical functioning improved within both groups, although the high ATTEFF group had improved more than the low ATTEFF group at posttest. Attendance and effort appear to differentiate older adults on selected measures of health perception and maximum physical functioning following a 9-month exercise program.