• Older Adults’ Uptake and Adherence to Exercise Classes: Instructors’ Perspectives.

      Hawley-Hague, H.; Horne, Maria; Skelton, D.A.; Todd, C. (2016)
      Exercise classes provide a range of benefits for older adults, but adherence levels are poor. We know little of instructors’ experiences of delivering exercise classes to older adults. Semi-structured interviews, informed by the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), were conducted with instructors (n=19) delivering multi-component exercise classes to establish their perspectives on older adults’ uptake and adherence to exercise classes. Analysis revealed ‘barriers’ related to identity, choice/control, cost, venue and ‘solutions’ including providing choice, relating exercise to identity, a personal touch and social support. ‘Barriers’ to adherence included unrealistic expectations and social influences and ‘solutions’ identified were encouraging commitment, creating social cohesion and an emphasis on achieving outcomes. Older adults’ attitudes were an underlying theme, which related to all barriers and solutions. The instructor plays an important, but not isolated, role in older adults’ uptake and adherence to classes. Instructors’ perspectives help us to further understand how we can design successful exercise classes.