Correlates of Physical Activity in a Community Sample of Older Adults in Appalachia

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Although much has been learned about the global determinants of physical activity in adults, there has been a lack of specific focus on gender, age, and urban/rural differences. In this church-based community sample of Appalachian adults (N = 1,239), the primary correlates of physical activity included age, gender, obesity, and self-efficacy. Overall, 42% of all participants and 31% of adults age 65 years or older met recommended guidelines for physical activity, which suggests that most participants do not engage in adequate levels of physical activity. Of participants who met physical activity guidelines, the most common modes of moderate and vigorous activity were walking briskly or uphill, heavy housework or gardening, light strength training, and biking. These particular activities that focus on building self-efficacy might be viable targets for intervention among older adults in rural communities.

Zizzi is with the Sport and Exercise Psychology Program, School of Physical Education, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, 26506-6116. All other authors are with the School of Nursing at West Virginia University.