Issue addressed: To describe the demographic and health-related characteristics (physical activity, self-reported health status, quality of life and falls history) of older people who enrol in a team-based game, Lifeball, and examine associations between continuation and participant characteristics. Reasons for stopping, participants' perceptions of the game and changes in health-related characteristics over 12 months were examined. Methods: Telephone surveys were conducted with a cohort of Lifeball players at: baseline, soon after commencing playing and 12 months later. Results: At baseline, participants were aged 40 to 96 years (mean 67). Most were female (84%), in good to excellent health (86%) and reported being sufficiently (> 150 minutes per week) physically active (69%). Almost half (43%) were still playing 12 months later (continuers). Continuers were more likely to perceive Lifeball had helped them to: feel fitter and healthier (91%); improve their social life (73%); and be more active (53%). No significant changes in continuers' physical activity, self-reported health status and quality of life measures were reported. The main reason for stopping playing was illness/injury unrelated to Lifeball. Conclusions: Lifeball mainly appealed to healthy, active older people.
Health Promotion Journal of Australia Vol. 20, Issue 2, p. 120-126