Objectives: To compare the effectiveness and sustainability of On the Move against a Standard group exercise program consisting of seated strength, endurance, and flexibility exercises in community-dwelling older adults who reside in independent living facilities and senior apartment buildings, and who live elsewhere but regularly attend senior community centers.
Methods: The study was a cluster randomized, single-blind intervention trial that compared the effects on function, disability, and mobility of a Standard group exercise program and the On the Move group exercise program in community-dwelling older adults. Thirty-two facilities were randomized, encompassing 424 individuals.
Results: The mean ± standard deviation age of the participants was 80.7 ± 7.8 years. The On the Move group had greater improvements than the Standard group in the primary measures of mobility, the 6MWT (20.6 ± 57.1 versus 4.1 ± 55.6 m; adjusted difference = 16.7 ± 7.4; p = 0.0262), and gait speed (0.05 ± 0.13 versus –0.01 ± 0.11 m/s; adjusted difference = 0.05 ± 0.02; p = 0.0008). The between-group differences were adjusted for the baseline value of the outcome and represent a small but meaningful difference. There were no significant differences in self-reported function and disability as measured by the LLFDI scores.
Conclusions: When taught by exercise leaders, the On the Move group exercise program was more effective at improving mobility than the Standard group exercise program, more safe, and well-liked by community-dwelling older adults.