–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 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 Well Program, a free and ongoing morning walking and exercise program for the 55+ community, offered on'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, 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 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.