Delivering to older people

  • Family influence is crucial for elderly individuals when engaging in physical activity. The research collected highlighted greater engagement and retention in the Oomph programme in care homes that encouraged family involvement.

  • Comfort of exercise environment. elderly individuals within this study highlighted the need for 'enjoyable scenery.'

  • Social interaction between participants, friends, family and coaches is imperative and has a noticeable impact on participation levels within this particular age group.

  • Music selection. Participants favour music which is specifically of their 'era' or 'generation.' Coaches delivering the programme should be selective with music, thinking of their target market. Furthermore, research within this study highlighted the need for music which suited the activities speed, this enables individuals to understand the speed of their movements as well as timing.

  • Consistent coaches or leaders. Elderly individuals are susceptible to low self-esteem and confidence levels, having a consistent leader allows bonds to be created and participants to feel comfortable and boost their confidence levels.

  • Coach understanding. Research in this study highlighted elderly individuals like to feel valued, with coaches who understand their specific needs, allowing them to do as much or little as they can when exercising.

  • Choice of activities. Greater enjoyment and engagement in physical activity was identified from 'team work' activities.

  • Data gathered within the study identified, elderly individuals attending an Oomph session for the first-time lack confidence and were afraid to attend due to not knowing anyone. Participants suggested being able to meet the coach or a few participants before attending a session.

  • Accessibility of the Oomph session. Participants favoured the session being delivered in their care home.

  • Equipment. Throughout this study, participants identified the equipment favoured 'women.' Some male participants did not feel comfortable using 'pom pom's' and would prefer alternate equipment.

    Exercises should be simple and easy for participants to follow, the data collected emphasised the need for coaches to complete visual demonstrations.

About the study and the author:

Title of study:
"A study into activity programmes in Bedford, understanding their implementation, with a particular focus on the Oomph programme and how this influences physical activity levels among the elderly population."

Date of completion:
September 2018

Institute of completion:
University of Bedfordshire

About me:
Jade Horsley
BA (Hons) Sports Studies
MA Leadership and Management of Sport and Physical Activity