Physical activity and nutrition intervention for Singaporean women aged 50 years and above: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial
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The majority of the older Singaporean women aged 50 years and above are physically inactive and have unhealthy dietary habits, placing them at ‘high risk’ of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The adoption of regular physical activity (PA) and a healthy diet are essential lifestyle behaviours to reduce this risk. This randomised controlled trial (RCT) involves the development, implementation and evaluation of a PA and nutrition programme for community-dwelling Singaporean women who currently attend recreational centres (RCs are public facilities supporting social leisure activities) in their local area. The intervention will be developed after conducting formative evaluation with RC attendees and managers through focus group discussions and pilot testing of resources (i.e. surveys, accelerometers, and health booklets). Programme ambassadors (trained, certified fitness instructors and nutritionists) will deliver all sessions in English and Mandarin; implement classes to meet participants’ varying needs; and conduct sessions at different times at convenient venues. Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) has been selected as the theoretical framework to inform intervention strategies as it explores the interactions of human behaviour with the environment and has been found to be valuable when developing behavioural change interventions particularly in older adults (J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 67B(1):18–26, 2012; Obesity Reviews 15(12):983–95, 2014). Its major construct, self-efficacy, is invaluable in achieving successful behaviour change, such as increasing levels of PA or improving dietary intake (Trials. 2017; https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-016-1771-9 ; Psychol Health Med 18(6):714–24, 2013).
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