The Living well through Intergenerational Fitness and Exercise (LIFE) Program is the first of its kind—a unique program led by younger adults that increases access for at-risk older rural populations to sustainable, low cost, physical activity programming. It is comprised of 6 weeks of exergaming and 16 weeks of wellness newsletters.
The LIFE Program is a community-based intergenerational exergaming physical activity program for older adults. Exergaming, or video games with integrated physical activity, is growing in popularity as a means of enhancing motivation and adherence to physical activity participation among older adults as well as improving quality of life and depressive symptoms. The LIFE Program (LIFE 1) was pilot tested at seven sites in Story County Iowa. Participants experienced an increase in physical activity and perceived wellness. Meanwhile, aging knowledge and expectations improved and ageism decreased in the trainers. Based on participant and trainer feedback, LIFE 1 was revised to be more participant-friendly (LIFE 2). LIFE 2 was evaluated in 31 rural Iowa counties through county Extension and Outreach offices. Significant changes in participant readiness to change and self-efficacy in their ability to be physically active were detected.
LIFE Program findings have been published in the:
- Journal of Extension
- Journal of Youth Development
- Journal of Aging and Physical Activity: