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Older adults' perceptions of adherence to community physical activity groups

Hartley, SE and Yeowell, G (2015) Older adults' perceptions of adherence to community physical activity groups. Ageing and Society, 35 (8). pp. 1635-1656. ISSN 0144-686X

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Abstract

© 2014 Cambridge University Press.Community physical activity (PA) groups have come in to being worldwide to inspire older adults to engage in PA. However, there is limited evidence that older adults adhere to these groups, particularly those of a lower socio-economic status, with health conditions, from black and minority ethnic (BME) groups and men. This study aimed to explore experiences of attending PA groups from the viewpoint of community-living older adults, including those sub-groups of the population highlighted above. The purpose was to gain an understanding of what would influence long-term adherence to community PA groups. Eighteen participants aged 65 and above took part in three focus groups carried out in North West England. Thematic network analysis was used for theme generation and interpretation. Low-cost, universal locations are essential to enable older adults to engage regularly in PA, however, it is the social space that is created within these physical settings that is most influential in fostering their long-term adherence. Facilitating cross-cultural relationships and supporting older adults to have more control in shaping the PA environment will ensure that these settings are more conducive to the long-term adherence of diverse groups of older adults.

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