Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level



General Human Environmental Sciences


Betsy Garrison

Committee Member

Timothy Killian

Second Committee Member

LaVona Traywick

Third Committee Member

Lisa Washburn


Social sciences, Health and environmental sciences, Functional fitness, Older adults, Strength-training


The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of strength-training exercises on the functional fitness in older adults. The original convenience sample consisted of 658 participants who attended group strength-training classes offered through the Cooperative Extension Service. The Senior Fitness Test was used to assess baseline fitness levels at the beginning and end of the 12-week strength-training program. Data was collected from 2008 to 2015. Of the 658 participants, 110 were aged 60 to 94 and presented posttest scores occurring approximately 12 weeks after pretest dates. Of the 110 subjects, 99 were female and 11 were male. The findings from this study were consistent with prior literature that showed strength-training programs significantly improved functional fitness in older adults. The outcome of this research may assist senior fitness practitioners and policy makers as they seek to improve the quality of life for older adults in Arkansas.