Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Gerontology Institute

First Advisor

Jennifer Craft Morgan

Second Advisor

LaVona Traywick

Third Advisor

Chivon Mingo


Despite health benefits of physical activity (PA) and risks of physical inactivity, many older adults do not accumulate sufficient levels of PA to achieve associated health benefits. Lack of PA enjoyment may be a barrier to PA participation. This pilot study posited that by combining endurance-enhancing laughter yoga exercises with a moderate-intensity strength, balance, and flexibility PA program, LaughActive would increase health and self-efficacy for PA among older adults residing in 4 assisted living facilities (ALFs). The 12-week wait list control study used pre- and 6-week post-intervention comparisons among and between groups (n=27) who participated in twice-weekly LaughActive classes. Significant improvements (p < .05 - .10) were observed in mental health (SF-36v2®), aerobic endurance (SFT), and self-efficacy (OEE). Further well-designed research is needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of laughter-enhanced PA programs in achieving health and self-efficacy for PA outcomes among older adult populations.