Following a successful first run in the fall of 2018, Texas State University and The Price Center in downtown San Marcos are again partnering for “Connect Across Generations,” an exercise study for seniors that will examine the health impact of yoga or Tai Chi participation.
Individuals 65 years or older not enrolled in any group exercise class are now being recruited to attend either a Tai Chi or chair yoga class once a week during an 8-week period beginning in February. At the end of the period, a focus group interview will be conducted to assess the effectiveness of the program.
"We were extremely pleased with the feedback and initial results the study produced last semester,” said Walter Horton, associate vice president for research and federal relations, and chief research officer. “The partnership proved beneficial on many levels for all involved.”
Some program participants will be paired with a Texas State student participant between 18 and 25 years of age, who will attend the same exercise class as her or his “buddy.” Before and after the 8-week period, study participants will complete a paper-based survey questionnaire. Participants will be fully compensated for their once-a-week classes during the period, and upon completion of the two surveys and the focus group interview, each participant will also receive a $50 gift card.
The study will again be overseen by Eun Hae Grace Kim, assistant professor in the School of Social Work, with Kyong Hee Chee, associate professor in the Department of Sociology, serving as co-investigator. Clay DeStefano, executive director of The Price Center, Anna Broome of SMTX Yoga and Brenda Bell of Tiger Lady Tai Chi will continue to collaborate with the research team.
Research has shown that drop-out rates among participants in community-based exercise programs tend to be high among older adults, and this is generally attributable to a lack of social support for them. Kim and Chee have designed an intergenerational exercise buddy program embedded in existing Tai Chi and chair yoga classes at The Price Center. The program’s first cohort consisted of 15 participants in their 60s, 70s, and 80s, and eight social work majors. The Texas State researchers will evaluate various effects of the intergenerational program on participants, including their well-being.
To learn more or register for the study, contact Chee at (512) 245-4760 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on other Price Center activities, call (512) 392-2900 or visit price-center.org.
Pictured with this story -- Top: participants work at their indvidual pace in the Chair Yoga and Tai Chi classes. Middle & Bottom: Participants from the first study enjoyed a wrap-up reception with food and fellowship last fall.
About Texas State University
Founded in 1899, Texas State University is among the largest universities in Texas with an enrollment of 38,694 students on campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. Texas State’s 189,000-plus alumni are a powerful force in serving the economic workforce needs of Texas and throughout the world. Designated an Emerging Research University by the State of Texas, Texas State is classified under “Doctoral Universities: Higher Research Activity,” the second-highest designation for research institutions under the Carnegie classification system.