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Dropout from exercise programs for seniors: A prospective cohort study

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Author: Stiggelbout, M. · Hopman-Rock, M. · Tak, E. · Lechner, L. · Mechelen, W. van
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 4, 13, 409-421
Identifier: 238722
Keywords: Health · Leefomgeving en gezondheid · Aging · aged · Cohort analysis · Exercise · Health program · Health promotion · Netherlands · Physical activity · Kinesiotherapy · Patient · Psychological aspect · Statistics · Age Factors · Aged · Attitude to Health · Exercise Therapy · Female · Follow-Up Studies · Health Behavior · Humans · Incidence · Male · Middle Aged · Netherlands · Patient Dropouts · Prospective Studies · Healthy for Life · Healthy Living


This study examines dropout incidence, moment of dropout, and switching behavior in organized exercise programs for seniors in the Netherlands, as determined in a prospective cohort study (with baseline measurements at the start of the exercise program and follow-up after 6 months; N = 1,725, response rate 73%). Participants were community-living individuals 50+ who participated in different forms of organized exercise programs. The average dropout incidence was 0.15 per 6 months, which is lower than that for the general population. The dropout incidence and the timing of dropout differed substantially between the exercise programs. In total, 31% of people who dropped out of one type of exercise program switched to another type of exercise. The type of program and exercise had a strong effect on differences in this switching behavior. It is recommended that switching behavior be monitored in future studies. © 2005, Human Kinetics, Inc.