Research Study Abstract

Socio-Demographic and Environmental Correlates Influencing Elderly's Physical Activity. A Representative Community Study

  • Presented on July 3, 2014

Introduction: Regular, moderate-intensity physical activity is seen to have a key role in the promotion of good health and the prevention of disease. For older adults, being regularly active has been associated with better physical and psychological health and functional capacity (Booth 2000). The aim of this study was to assess elderly’s physical activity level (PA) and the role of socio demographic- and environmental factors.

Methods: The participants is a representative sample of elderly’s (70-77) living in the city of Trondheim, Norway (N= 895). The ActiGraph accelerometer GT3X was used to obtain objective assessment of physical activity. Data were considered valid if it was at east 4 d of at least 600 min•d-1 (Hansen, 2012). Based on the national physical activity recommendation in Norway (30min of MVPA per day). PA was measured as minutes in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Determinants of PA were collected through questionnaire. Data were subjected to a binary logistic regression analysis using SPSS.

Results: Totally, 55.9 % of the participant (males: 57.5 %; females: 54.6 %) met the national recommendation. The independent variables chosen in this model explains 12.5 % of the variance in MVPA. Elderlys level of education (OR: 1.422*), being physical active at the age of 40 (1.568*), and physical- (.903*) and social (1.161*) environment all had a positive significant effect on the MVPA. Gender and physical demanding work didnt have a significant effect.

Discussion: Finding a positive correlation between educational level and PA, supports Lim (2004), while being in contrast to the findings in Papadopoulou (2003). The positive correlation between being active at 40 and 70-77 indicates that you have to establish lifelong PA habits in adult age. Further, the results suggest that facilitating both elderly`s social- and physical environment are important to stimulate physical activity. This supports the findings in Booth et al. (2000).

References: Booth M., Owen N., Bauman A., Clavisi O., Leslie E. (2000). Social-Cognitive and Perceived Environment Influences Associated with Physical Activity in Older Australians. Preventive Medicine 31: 15-22 Hansen B. H. (2012). Physical activity in adults and older people. Levels of objectively measures physical activity in a population-based sample of Norwegian adults and older people (20-85 years). Dissertation from the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences. Oslo. Lim K., Taylor L. (2004). Factors associated with physical activity among older people – a population based study. Preventive Medicine 40: 33-40. Papadopoulou S., Zerva A., Paraskevas G., Dalkiranis A., Loannou L., Fahantidou A. (2003). Health status and socio-economic factors as determinants of physical activity level in the elderly. Medical science monitor 9(2), 79-83