UVic study offers free fitness for women 55-plus

Programs are six weeks and participants commit to two free one-hour sessions per week

UVic grad student Samantha Gray

UVic grad student Samantha Gray

Dr. Ryan Rhodes and the Behavioural Medicine Laboratory at the University of Victoria are looking for women 55 and older to be part of a physical activity study.

It’s all a part of Samantha Gray’s research for her masters thesis project under supervisor Rhodes.

“He’s a professor with extensive research experience in psychology of physical activity and sedentary behaviour so it’s a main focus of our lab,” Gray said. “The research is building upon what other students in the lab have worked on with older populations.”

Doctoral graduate Kristina Kowalski conducted a study with more than 150 older adults in Greater Victoria who were enrolled in a supervised walking program for four months.

Kowalski’s research aimed to understand the relationship between cognition and physical activity.

Masters graduate Christopher Yao worked with adults transitioning into retirement. He wanted to see how their physical activity fared using home-based multimedia exercise programs.

He found potential in these novel methods of exercise for increasing physical activity levels in retirees.

“Where I play in, is I’m taking a bit from both of their research. My study is incorporating a walking program but I’m including dance for this group,” she said.

“The main outcome would be their overall physical activity levels … and their motivation to be physically active.”

Programs are six weeks and participants commit to two free one-hour sessions per week, Tuesdays and Thursdays at UVic. “Apart form being in the programs they do complete surveys at a couple points in time,” Gray said.

The study requires women aged 55 to 70 years, who are in good health, not regularly participating in exercise, and living in the Greater Victoria area.

“We’re looking for that group so that if we introduce these programs is there a chance that a group-based activity might get them more active in their overall day to day? Might this kickstart more activity overall?”

To register, email graysam@uvic.ca or call the lab at 250-472-5288.