Online Program

Getting Fit: Elderly Citizens and Exercise

Monday, November 2, 2015

DeMicha Luster, MPHc, BSPH, CHES, The Satcher Health Leadership Institute - Division of Behavioral Health, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
The purpose of this study is to assess the ability of independent elderly citizens to maintain a regular exercise plan. The researcher hypothesized older adults without an exercise plan would exercise less.  Less than two out of every 10 adults aged 75 or older participate in regular or structured physical activity (Bindawas, 2012). Physical exercise is known to have an important role in disease prevention and control and many positive effects on both physical and psychological health (Kuru et al., 2014). The research design used was a quantitative, non-experimental, descriptive study. By using a 16-question survey, the belief in the older adults ability to exercise in given situations were assessed (n=65). The sampling methodology conducted in this research was a non-probability, sample of convenience. Descriptive and inferential statistics reported means and statistical differences. Data analysis revealed that 70% of participants believed they could not exercise if they felt sick or ill. There was significance in the amount of older adults who were interested in having a workout plan (p>0.05). There was also significance in the amount of minutes the older adults exercised each week (p >0.05). Exercise is important for older adults because it has the potential to alleviate pain, improve their quality of life, and provide them with continued independence. The researchers recommend that focus be placed creating national weekly recommendations on focused on older adults with physical limitations. It is also recommended to implement an exercise plan that focuses on exercises that alleviate pain and plans that can be done in a group setting. The researcher found that older adults exercise more confidently in group settings, which increases self-efficacy. The researcher should consider taking an increased sample size that represents more of the target population. The researcher should increase independent demographics to explore further connections to lack of physical activity.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify how current physical activity recommendations for older adults provide limitations for older adults with physical limitations. Explain how physical activity can increase older adults quality of life. Assess if having an exercise plan affects the ability of older adults to exercise. List issues that affect older adults' decision to exercise.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Research, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a recent graduate of Georgia Southern University, I utilized the last year and a half of my undergraduate career focusing on researching physical activity in older adults. I used this focus consistently within my courses. All of my data is primary data and I thoroughly invested into this population and community.
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.