The association between the home environment and physical activity in community-dwelling older adults

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Abstract

Physical activity (PA) decreases with increasing age despite the fact that PA exerts beneficial effects on many age-related diseases and conditions. Consequently, there is an interest in modifiable factors that may influence PA among older persons. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between PA and the home environment in wellfunctioning older community-dwelling persons. Method This study used a person-environment (P-E) fit perspective to the home environment, operationalized by means of assessment of functional limitations in 81 community- dwelling persons (median age 79 years) as well as environmental barriers in their home environments and the nearby exterior surroundings. The interaction between functional limitations and environmental barriers generated a score expressing the magnitude of P-E fit problems in their home environment. PA was rated with a questionnaire covering household-related and recreational activities. Results We found a significant association between PA and the magnitude of P-E fit problems that explained 3.9 % of the variance of PA. The number of environmental barriers per se was not significantly associated with PA, while functional limitations explained 6.8 % of the variance of PA. Conclusion In well-functioning older persons living in the community environmental aspects of housing demonstrated a weak association with PA.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences

Keywords

  • Environmental barriers, Housing, Personenvironment fit, Older persons
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-385
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Volume26
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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