Questionnaires are used to provide information on demographics and participation in balance activity within a gym setting. Questionnaires are a cost effective form of survey, easy to analyse, non-confrontational and a familiar format for participants to complete. They are a good way of obtaining data with reduced bias (Walonick 2004). They have been used previously to ascertain balance training participation and behaviour both as an isolated activity (McInnes 2004) and also as part of multi-modal regimen (Resnick 2000). They are also effective for the measurement of variables such as motivation, barriers to, and promoters of balance exercise (Kline 2000). The convenience of the setting of the gym and the availability of participants already predisposed to regular exercise informs the choice of venue at which to conduct the survey. Biases such as difficulty with transport or aversion to exercise, generally, are reduced by the said choice of venue.
In the absence of sampling frames and population lists, 120 recreational gym users were approached in an effort to provide a representative sample of gym users. All participants who took part in the survey were gym users, male and female, aged 20-80 years. Participants are surveyed from this age range as literature has shown the benefits in reduction of injury rates and falls from balance exercise in the young and elderly ( see for example: Handall 2001, Hong 2000). Each respondent had been a member of the gym for more than 12 months and reported attendance of once a week or more.
The absence of population lists and sampling frames means it is not possible to determine whether the gender difference (or similarities) is a reflection of the gym user population. A minimum of 85 questionnaires were completed to produce a power calculation of greater than 80% in relation to the aims of the study, as specified by Altman,1991.( ?