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Physical activity and healthy ageing: Engaging older adults in physical activity


Hetherington, Sharon and Orpin, P and Fell, JW and Shing, C, Physical activity and healthy ageing: Engaging older adults in physical activity, Abstracts for 43rd National Conference of the Australian Association of Gerontology, 17 - 19 November 2010, Hobart, Tasmania, pp. 3. (2010) [Conference Extract]


Introduction: For older adults regular participation in physical activity has the potential to improve their health and wellbeing. Nonetheless, research indicates that up to 50 percent of older adults are insuffi ciently active to realise health benefi ts and knowledge of what promotes an older personís interest in regular physical activity is limited. The aim of this study was to better understand the complex interactions of factors that motivate older people to take up and maintain regular physical activity. Methods: A short survey of activity levels, perceptions of physical activity and social support for being active were completed by 223 participants aged 65 years and older (M = 81 years, SD = 7 years). A series of semi structured interviews exploring perceptions, motivations and barriers around physical activity were also conducted. Inductive thematic analysis was employed to identify common themes and experiences from interview transcripts. Results: Participants engaged in higher levels of physical activity than those previously reported in the literature. Interviews revealed that participation in physical activity was prompted by the need for engagement with others, support from enthusiastic instructors/staff and a sense of competition/task achievement. Discussion: The need to be engaged in and challenged by activities does not decline with advancing age and programs to support older people to stay active need to recognise these factors.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:physcial activity, ageing
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Geriatrics and gerontology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Hetherington, Sharon (Ms Sharon Hetherington)
UTAS Author:Orpin, P (Dr Peter Orpin)
UTAS Author:Fell, JW (Associate Professor James Fell)
UTAS Author:Shing, C (Dr Cecilia Kitic)
ID Code:67682
Year Published:2010
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2011-03-07
Last Modified:2011-03-07

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