Views on exercise and physical activity among rural-dwelling senior citizens

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Robert E. Aronson, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Context: This study was conducted with senior citizens in the 2 rural communities of Ada and Lindsay, Oklahoma. These communities are both predominantly white, with the largest minority population being American Indian. Both communities are more than 60 miles from a metropolitan area and have a history of farming and ranching. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore contextual factors related to physical activity among senior citizens living in rural communities. Methods: Two focus groups were conducted. The groups were conducted in mixed-sex sessions and were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim for the purpose of analysis. Findings: Themes from the focus groups included the following: (1) the types of daily activities engaged in by seniors; (2) the meaning and connotation of the words exercise and physical activity, with physical activity connoting for some the negative imagery of physical labor; and (3) the availability and suitability of settings for physical activity. For seniors living in rural settings in Oklahoma, the lack of indoor facilities and the sometimes extreme climatic conditions serve as significant barriers to physical activity. Conclusion: This study suggests that programs seeking to encourage physical activity among seniors in rural areas could benefit from an assessment of resources and settings for physical activity and the avoidance of language that may have negative connotations for this population.

Additional Information

Journal of Rural Health, 20(1): 76-79
Language: English
Date: 2004
Senior citizens, Rural-dwelling, Physical activities, Resources

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