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A Tailored Qigong Exercise to Low-Income Community-Dwelling Older Latino Individuals

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September 26, 2022 - Older Latino individuals are disproportionally affected by various chronic conditions including impairments in physical and cognitive functions, which are essential for healthy aging and independent living.

Multiple organizations within the University of Texas system collaborated on a study to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of FITxOlder, a 12-week a tailored Chinese mind-body exercise program, in community-dwelling low-income, predominantly older Latino individuals, and assess its preliminary effects on health parameters relevant to healthy aging and independent living.

This 12-week, single-arm, stage 1B feasibility study had a pre- and poststudy design. A total of 13 older adults (ages from 69 to 84; 11/13, 85% Latino) of a congregate meal program in a senior center were enrolled.

FITxOlder uses Five Animal Frolics, a form of Qigong, led by a bilingual community health worker (CHW) participating twice a week at the senior center and facilitated by mobile health technology for practice at home, with incrementally increasing goals moving from once a week to at least 3 times a week. The feasibility and acceptability of the study were examined using both quantitative and qualitative data. Healthy aging-related outcomes (eg, physical and cognitive function) were assessed using paired 2-tailed t tests. Qualitative interview data were analyzed using thematic analysis.

The research findings, recently published by Journal of medical Internet research, indicated that the CHW-led and mobile health-facilitated Chinese Qigong exercise program is feasible and acceptable among low-income Latino older adults. The trending health benefits of the 12-week FITxOlder program suggest it is promising to promote physical activity engagement in underserved older populations to improve health outcomes for healthy aging and independent living. Future research with larger samples and longer interventions is warranted to assess the health benefits and suitability of FITxOlder.




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