Online Program

Exploring older adults' facilitators and barriers to engage in physical activity in a racially diverse, lower income sample

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Ahmad Iqmer Nashriq Mohd Nazan, MPH, Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, GREENFIELD, WI
Scott Strath, PhD, FACSM, Center for Aging and Translational Research, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Jessica Rice, MPH, Center for Urban Population Health, University of Wisconsin–Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health, Milwaukee, WI
Melissa Lemke, M.A., Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health (TRIUMPH), University of Wisconsin–Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health, Milwaukee, WI
Amy E. Harley, PhD, MPH, RD, Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Background: Although physical activity is often associated with improving and maintaining the overall health of older adults, epidemiological data showed less than one-fifth achieved the recommended levels. While current efforts of promoting physical activity have seen some success, most involved middle to high income White participants and reported only short-term success as they did not fully account for key social and contextual factors pertaining to this population. Understanding these factors is essential to developing sustainable physical activity interventions especially among multiracial, lower income older adults where studies are limited Methods: Focus groups were conducted at senior centers selected strategically to capture racial diversity and different levels of access to physical activity programs and equipments.  Data were analyzed using thematic analysis techniques involving codebook development, coding, and themes extraction. Results: Sixty-five people ranging in age from 59-89 years participated in one of seven focus groups. Facilitators and barriers emerged across all focus groups sharing multiple key themes: health condition; friends and families; monetary issues; activities scheduling; types of activities; safety issues; and feelings of accomplishment. Conclusions: Our findings suggest future community-based physical activity interventions should find balance between tailored and standardized approaches to account for various backgrounds, needs, ability and availability of older adults. Improving physical activity policy both at community and state level is critical since it provides lasting solutions to interpersonal and environmental barriers faced by them. The study contributes to our understanding of the social context of physical activity behavior among multiracial older adults who are economically challenged.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe seven key themes influencing physical activity behavior of multiracial, lower income older adults. Discuss potential long-term solutions for addressing barriers facing older adults to engage and maintain physical activity behavior.

Keyword(s): Aging, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator and/or academic partner on multiple funded grants focused on the social context of behavior change and healthy lifestyle. My specific expertise is in healthy eating and physical activity as well as community engaged research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.