Videoconferencing gets older adults moving as health lessons put to practical use

Online group discussions, active learning help sustain healthy habits among countryside residents

How proposed videoconference-based health education system for older adults works

The COVID-19 pandemic made videoconferencing software commonplace in businesses and even schools, but this communication tool has the potential to offer benefits beyond the office or classroom. An Osaka Metropolitan University-led research team has been exploring how videoconferencing can improve the health of older adults living in the countryside.

OMU Associate Professor Kazuki Uemura of the Graduate School of Rehabilitation Science and colleagues devised a 12-week health education program conducted using the videoconferencing software Zoom, with the aim of having participants engage in active learning. A control group was provided a similar 12-week program by email, with attached pdf files giving health instructions in a passive learning format.

The researchers assessed the participants before and after the 12 weeks, then performed a follow-up at 36 weeks. Their results showed that compared to the control group the videoconferencing group tended to follow the health advice and showed some improvement in the amount of time spent doing physical activities as opposed to sedentary behavior.

“This study proposes a new health education program that is not dependent on location or distance and takes sustainable behavioral changes into consideration,” Professor Uemura suggested. “In the future, by expanding the implementation scale and conducting further verification, we aim to popularize such health programs that everyone, everywhere can participate in.”

The findings were published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.

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About OMU

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Published: 04 Jun 2024

Contact details:

Rina Matsuki

3-3-138 Sugimoto, Sumiyoshi-ku,
Osaka 558-8585 JAPAN

+81666053411
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Reference: 

Journal: Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
Title: Active Learning Through Video Conferencing to Maintain Physical Activity Among Older Adults: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial
DOI: 10.1123/japa.2023-0180
Author(s): Kazuki Uemura, Tsukasa Kamitani, Atsuya Watanabe, Hiroshi Okamoto, Kenshi Saho, Minoru Yamada
Publication date: 3 June 2024
URL: https://doi.org/10.1123/japa.2023-0180

Funding information:

This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI grant number JP21K11576.