Evaluation of community coalitions ability to create safe, effective exercise classes for older adults

Steven P. Hooker, Lisa A. Cirill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This paper describes the evaluation of the Active Aging Community Task Force (AACTF) project that fostered the development of 25 community coalitions charged with creating safe and effective exercise classes for older adults. Periodic progress reports, site visits, personal interviews, and standardized questionnaires formulated the process evaluation. Functional fitness assessments were conducted on exercise class participants to document changes in fitness over time. Over 5 years, 36 workshops to train exercise class instructors were conducted, 153 new exercise classes were created, and over 7000 older adults participated in these classes. After 12-24 weeks of exercise class participation, consistent gains were observed in low back/hip range of motion, agility/dynamic balance, leg strength, and upper arm strength. AACTF members generally agreed/strongly agreed with statements regarding their coalition leader's competence, performance, support, and control, and they also gave high ratings for their coalition's progress toward meeting its objectives. No adverse events were reported for any AACTF exercise class participant. The adaptation of evaluation processes previously used to assess community coalition's prevention efforts proved successful and the information provided via these processes was of tremendous benefit in identifying areas of needed modification. The data also indicated that the AACTFs were effective in establishing safe and effective exercise classes for older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-250
Number of pages9
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Community coalition
  • Evaluation
  • Exercise
  • Older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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