Adapting Chinese Qigong mind-body exercise for healthy aging in older community-dwelling low-income latino adults: Pilot feasibility study

Zenong Yin, Cristina E. Martinez, Shiyu Li, Martha Martinez, Kezhi Peng, William M. Land, Sarah L. Ullevig, Adelita Cantu, Sharon Falk, Arthur E. Hernández, Catherine Ortega, Deborah M Parra-medina, Maureen J Simmonds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Research translating the evidence for the benefit of mind-body exercise in older Latinos with limited accss to community-based healthy aging programs is sparse. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of Function Improvement Exercises for Older Sedentary Community-Dwelling Latino Residents (FITxOlder), a Community Health Worker (CHW)-led, mobile technology-facilitated Chinese Qigong mind-body exercise program for healthy aging and to explore its impact on physical and cognitive function and quality of life (QoL) in older community-dwelling low-income Latino adults. Methods: This study was designed as a Stage 1 feasibility study to develop and pilot-test FITxOlder. In Phase 1 (Stage 1A), a working group of seniors, CHWs, and senior center staff guided the adaptation of Chinese Qigong into a healthy aging program. In Phase 2 (Stage 1B), 49 older Latino adults participated in a 3-arm controlled study to test the feasibility and preliminary effect of CHW-led FITxOlder on physical and cognitive function and QoL measures over 16 weeks. Results: Although the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the implementation of the study protocol, we found favorable results regarding participant recruitment, retention, and fidelity of implementation. Notable findings included an 89.3% participant retention, 79.4% of the participants completed at least 70% of the weekly exercise goal, and no report of adverse events. The effects on intervention outcome measures were modest. Conclusions: FITxOlder is feasible for promoting healthy aging in older Latino adults; future research needs to compare its feasibility with other low-impact exercise programs for healthy aging using a randomized controlled trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere29188
JournalJMIR Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Community-based participatory research
  • Five animal play
  • MHealth
  • Wuqinxi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Health Informatics
  • Health(social science)


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