Physical activity status and gender differences in community-dwelling older adults with chronic diseases

Yen-Chun Lin, Mei Chang Yeh, Ya-Mei Chen, Lian-Hua Huang
Journal of Nursing Research: JNR 2010, 18 (2): 88-97

BACKGROUND: Physical activity trends have a negative correlation between age and level of activity. Older adults with chronic diseases because of a preponderance of health problems often have difficulty achieving recommended physical activity levels. Lower levels of physical activity among older women have also been reported. Therefore, knowledge that could help tailor interventions to motivate groups at risk (such as older women with chronic diseases) is an important area of study.

PURPOSE: This study was designed to explore physical activity levels and gender-based differences in older adults with chronic diseases in a district in Taipei.

METHODS: This study used a cross-sectional survey design. A total of 206 community-dwelling elders were recruited and asked to complete two questionnaires during face-to-face interviews. The first questionnaire gathered data on sociodemographics and health status, and the second, a modified Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors, was a physical activities questionnaire and gathered data on participants' physical activity habits.

RESULTS: Results found that 54.4% of participants achieved the recommended energy expenditure level of 1000 kcal/week during leisure-time physical activity. Female participants were found less likely to meet the recommended leisure-time physical activity guidelines than their male counterparts. Age significantly predicted caloric expenditure during leisure-time physical activity for female participants, and self-reported health status significantly predicted caloric expenditure during leisure-time physical activity for male participants.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Results demonstrated different physical activity levels in older men and women, with predictive factors of caloric expenditure during leisure-time physical activity also different between genders. Therefore, interventions promoting physical activity should take these differences into account.


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