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New funding awarded to evaluate statewide health and wellness program

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The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services has awarded $405,995 to Regents and Distinguished Professor Marcia Ory, Ph.D. of the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health to conduct a 2-year evaluation of Texercise Select, an exercise and nutrition program for older adults.

Currently offered at various locations throughout the state, Texercise Select is a free 12-week program lead by trained facilitators that includes education and discussion on physical activity and nutrition as well as 30-45 minutes of guided exercise.

“Despite promising preliminary results, further evaluation of Texercise Select is needed to understand the benefits in different settings and populations in order to make the case for offering Texercise Select throughout the aging services community,” says Ory.

Ory will lead a team of researchers who will rigorously test the community-based program by comparing program participants with a non-intervention comparison group. Researchers aim to examine several issues including the impact of the program on increased physical activity, healthy eating and perceived quality of life; the relationship between intervention dosage and outcomes; and whether the program is equally beneficial across a wide range of seniors. They will identify factors affecting program implementation and estimate programmatic costs and quality adjusted life years attributed to Texercise Select participation.

“Texercise has great potential for improving the health of even a greater number of older Texans through widespread dissemination of the program across our state,” Ory said.

Additional researchers include Matthew Smith, Ph.D., of University of Georgia School of Public Health, Alan Stevens, Ph.D., of Scott and White, Sang Nam Ahn, Ph.D., of the University of Memphis School of Public Health, and Samuel Towne, Jr., Ph.D., and Doris Howell, M.P.H., both from the Texas A&M School of Public Health.

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