Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study finds free fitness center-based exercise referral program not well utilized


Eliminating financial barriers to a fitness center as well as providing physician support, a pleasant environment and trained fitness staff did not result in widespread membership activation or consistent attendance among low income, multi-ethnic women with chronic disease risk factors or diagnoses according to a new study from Boston University School of Medicine.

The findings, published in Journal of Community Health, is believed to be the first study of its kind to examine patient characteristics associated with utilization of community health center- based exercise referral program.

Currently, fewer than half (47.3 percent) of Americans meet expert recommendations of 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity exercise.

Women are less likely than men to meet guidelines for physical activity. Certain subpopulations are at elevated risk for both inactivity and CMD, including Hispanics, African Americans and those below the poverty level.

Adult female patients of a community health center with an affiliated fitness center, were included in the study if they received a referral to the fitness center from their primary care provider.

Demographic and medical information was abstracted from their medical chart and fitness records were abstracted to measure activation of a fitness center membership (creation of an account denoting at least an initial visit) and utilization over time.

The researchers found less than half of the women activated their memberships (40 percent), although Black/African Americans women and those with higher numbers of co-morbidities were more likely to activate.

In addition, only a small subset--10 percent of women who activated their memberships (0.4 percent of the total referred sample)--achieved three-month participation levels consistent with cardiometabolic disease (CMD, including heart disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, Type 2 diabetes) risk reduction. Nonetheless, average visits per month declined from the beginning to the end of the free 3-month trial membership period.

"Despite providing free access to a fitness center and its staff, the number of women utilizing this service was highly variable," explained corresponding author John Wiecha, MD, associate professor of family medicine at BUSM. "Our observations are consistent with findings from the United Kingdom, where a recent systematic review found that exercise referral "uptake" (attendance at an initial consultation) by participants varied from 28 to 100 percent and "adherence" (signifying participation in at least 75 percent of all sessions) from 12 to 93 percent," he added.

According to Wiecha, these findings suggest that program design may benefit from developing activation, initial participation, and retention strategies that address population-specific barriers and integrate credible behavioral change strategies. "Significant public health gains could be realized by increasing physical activity among populations at high risk of chronic disease, and additional research is warranted to develop effective models in the U.S.," said Wiecha.

Gina DiGravio | Eurek Alert!
Further information:

Further reports about: BUSM activation activity exercise populations strategies women

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Climate study finds evidence of global shift in the 1980s
26.11.2015 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht Network analysis shows systemic risk in mineral markets
16.11.2015 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate study finds evidence of global shift in the 1980s

Planet Earth experienced a global climate shift in the late 1980s on an unprecedented scale, fuelled by anthropogenic warming and a volcanic eruption, according to new research published this week.

Scientists say that a major step change, or ‘regime shift’, in the Earth’s biophysical systems, from the upper atmosphere to the depths of the ocean and from...

Im Focus: Innovative Photovoltaics – from the Lab to the Façade

Fraunhofer ISE Demonstrates New Cell and Module Technologies on its Outer Building Façade

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were...

Im Focus: Lactate for Brain Energy

Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.

In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...

Im Focus: Laser process simulation available as app for first time

In laser material processing, the simulation of processes has made great strides over the past few years. Today, the software can predict relatively well what will happen on the workpiece. Unfortunately, it is also highly complex and requires a lot of computing time. Thanks to clever simplification, experts from Fraunhofer ILT are now able to offer the first-ever simulation software that calculates processes in real time and also runs on tablet computers and smartphones. The fast software enables users to do without expensive experiments and to find optimum process parameters even more effectively.

Before now, the reliable simulation of laser processes was a job for experts. Armed with sophisticated software packages and after many hours on computer...

Im Focus: Quantum Simulation: A Better Understanding of Magnetism

Heidelberg physicists use ultracold atoms to imitate the behaviour of electrons in a solid

Researchers at Heidelberg University have devised a new way to study the phenomenon of magnetism. Using ultracold atoms at near absolute zero, they prepared a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

Fraunhofer’s Urban Futures Conference: 2 days in the city of the future

25.11.2015 | Event News

Gluten oder nicht Gluten? Überempfindlichkeit auf Weizen kann unterschiedliche Ursachen haben

17.11.2015 | Event News

Art Collection Deutsche Börse zeigt Ausstellung „Traces of Disorder“

21.10.2015 | Event News

Latest News

How a genetic locus protects adult blood-forming stem cells

26.11.2015 | Life Sciences

Stanford technology makes metal wires on solar cells nearly invisible to light

26.11.2015 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Peering into cell structures where neurodiseases emerge

26.11.2015 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>