Research

UWEX Impact Report

Research shows that regular exercise provides many benefits to mature women. Yet only 7% of middle-aged and older women exercise daily.

Regular weight-bearing exercise helps older women increase their strength, muscle mass and bone density, and decreases the risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, depression and obesity. Exercise has also been shown to improve self-confidence, sleep and vitality.

Preventing the onset of osteoporosis—porous bones that break easily and heal slowly—is especially important for middle-aged and older women. One out of every three women over the age of 40 suffers from this condition. The good news is that exercise can contribute to the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. For many Wisconsin communities, the challenge lies in finding ways to provide education and opportunities for older women to get the essential exercise they need.

Improving Women’s Health and Fitness in Wisconsin: the StrongWomen Program

 

Benefits of Strength Training

Baker, The Efficacy of Home Based Progressive Strength Training in Older Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis

Castaneda, A Randomized Controlled Trial of Resistance Exercise Training to Improve Glycemic Control in Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes

Nelson, Effects of High Intensity Strength Training on Multiple Risk Factors for Osteoporotic Fractures

Nelson, Targeted Exercise for Promoting Bone Health in Women

Nelson, The Effects of Multidimensional Home Based Exercise on Functional Performance in Elderly People

Seguin, The Benefits of Strength Training for Older Adults

Seguin, Improved physical fitness among older female participants in a nationally disseminated, community-based exercise program

Seguin, Design and national dissemination of the StrongWomen Community Strength Training Program

Stamatakis, Does Strength Promoting Exercise Confer Unique Health Benefits?

Kamada, Strength Training and All-Cause, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer Mortality in Older Women

Chaudhary, StrongWomen Program Evaluation: Effect of Strength Training Exercises on Physical Fitness of Participants

Social Component

A special issue on the role of social networks in adult health & aging: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2014/05/social-networks.aspx

Santini ZI, Fiori KL, Feeney J, Tyrovolas S, Haro JM, Koyanagi A. Social relationships, loneliness, and mental health among older men and women in Ireland: A prospective community-based study. Journal of affective disorders. 2016;204:59-69. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2016.06.032

Gardner PJ. Natural neighborhood networks — Important social networks in the lives of older adults aging in place. Journal of Aging Studies. 2011; 25(3): 263-271. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2011.03.007

 

Volunteers

Washburn, Motivations of Volunteer Leaders in an Extension Exercise Program