School of Rural Public Health receives funding to evaluate state’s Texercise health promotion program

January 30, 2013
Marcia Ory, Ph.D.

Marcia Ory, Ph.D.

February is American Heart Month, and what better gift to give your loved one than to grow not only older but also healthier together!

The Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) School of Rural Public Health is trying to do just that, having received $196,019 from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) to evaluate the agency’s Texercise health promotion program.

Texercise is a statewide DADS program encouraging individuals and communities to adopt healthy lifestyles, including regular physical activity, and make smart nutritional choices to sustain or improve mobility among older adults.

“Texercise has been delivered for more than 10 years to thousands of older Texans through the aging services network, as well as other delivery partners,” said Regents and Distinguished Professor Marcia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H., lead evaluator and director of the Program on Healthy Aging. “It’s now time to conduct a systemic evaluation of Texercise’s impact on the health and functioning of the growing number of older Texans.”

The study is a joint effort among DADS, TAMHSC-School of Rural Public Health and Scott & White Healthcare. Alan Stevens, Ph.D., director of the Scott & White Healthcare Center for Applied Health Research and the Community Research Center for Senior Health, is the lead staff for Scott & White on this evaluation.

With an increasing national movement toward implementing evidence-based health promotion programs for seniors, the Texercise evaluation team seeks to standardize the program so it can be used more widely. For more information, check out statewide Texercise events for fitness activities.

“As the population of our state ages, understanding what has made Texercise successful and working to make the program standard statewide will be of great value in encouraging and supporting healthy lifestyles for aging Texans,” said Jon Weizenbaum, DADS commissioner. “We look forward to seeing the results of this study.”

— Rae Lynn Mitchell