Physical activity promotion: Current issues and developments (symposium).

Authors: Nyman, S.

Conference: British Society of Gerontology

Dates: 11-13 July 2012


Physical activity directly benefits older people’s health and wellbeing and is a core component of the active ageing agenda. To retain functional capacity and independence in older age, people need to lead physically active lifestyles. However, physical in-activity continues to be highly prevalent in the UK, especially amongst older people. The objective, therefore, of this symposium is to provide a forum for BSG delegates to discuss the important issue of physical activity promotion. A multidisciplinary team - representing health psychology, nursing, urban engineering, and public health - will bring together the latest research in their area across four inter-related papers:

Structure of the 90-minute session 1. Introduction [5mins] Chair: Dr Samuel R Nyman The session will start with a brief overview and the objectives for the symposium.

2. Current status of older people’s participation in exercise interventions for the prevention of falls [18mins] Presenter: Dr Samuel R Nyman A recent authoritative Cochrane systematic review evaluated interventions to prevent falls among community-dwelling older people (Gillespie et al, 2009). Among the randomised controlled trials (RCTs), exercise interventions were found to be the most effective strategy. However, the Cochrane review did not consider older people’s participation in the interventions. This paper presents a re-analysis of the 99 single and multi-factorial RCTs with a focus on exercise interventions. Rates for recruitment, attrition, and adherence will be presented to highlight that many interventions are only effective with a sub-group of those targeted.

3. Barriers and facilitators to physical activity uptake and adherence among South Asian older adults: A systematic review of qualitative studies [18mins] Presenter: Dr Maria Horne In the UK, only 11% of South Asian men and 8% of South Asian women aged 55+ undertake the recommended levels of physical activity (PA) (Sproston & Mindell, 2006). At the same time these individuals experience greater levels of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes; conditions that can be prevented or improved through regular PA. Therefore, promoting uptake and adherence of PA in SA communities for primary and secondary prevention of these conditions remains a public health priority. This paper presents a systematic review of the qualitative literature (published 2000 - 2011) to inform our understanding of how to tailor PA interventions appropriately to the needs of this group.

4. Modifying the built environment to promote active ageing [18mins] Presenter: Ms Rita Newton One of the most effective ways of maintaining physical fitness in older age is to achieve recommended levels of ‘healthy walking’ (2.5 hours per week). Research by Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I'DGO) has found that a supportive built environment plays a crucial role in enabling older people to walk within their neighbourhood. This presentation will focus on what 200 UK citizens aged 65+ identified as their needs and preferences for the attributes of streets that make it easy to go outdoors, as well as objective measurements of ‘enablers’ and ‘barriers’. It will also report on a current study of the impact of tactile paving on older people’s mobility.

5. Physical activity in community-dwelling older adults: Lessons learned from the ‘Older People and Active Living’ Project [18mins] Presenter: Ms Jo C Coulson This presentation will summarise findings from Project OPAL. The study aimed to discover what affects physical activity behaviour in 240 community-dwelling adults aged 70. Using objective measures of physical activity and function, activity patterns will be described, including the contribution of daily journeys from home (particularly shopping, and bus-usage), and the importance of ‘walkable’ amenities. Relationships between participants’ residential level of deprivation and activity levels will be explained. Illustrative cameos, revealed through case-checking of our qualitative data, will also be highlighted. Suggestions will be made for how this research might inform intervention design and policy-making for promoting active lifestyles among older people.

6. Discussion [13mins] Discussant: Professor Christina R Victor The symposium will conclude with time for questions and an overall discussion of the key issues raised in the presentations.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Samuel Nyman