The authors examined factors related to participation in walking, gardening or yard work, and sports or exercise in 686 community-dwelling adults 60–95 years of age from Wave IV of the population-based Americans’ Changing Lives Study. Logistic regression revealed that male gender, being married, and better functional health were associated with greater likelihood of participating in gardening or yard work (p < .05). Male gender, better functional health, and lower body-mass index were independently associated with greater likelihood of walking (p < .05). Increasing age, male gender, higher education, and better functional health were associated with greater likelihood of participating in sports or exercise (p < .05). Subsequent analyses yielded an interaction of functional health by gender in sport or exercise participation (p = .06), suggesting a greater association between functional health and participation in men. Gender and functional health appear to be particularly important for physical activity participation, which may be useful in guiding future research. Attention to different subgroups may be needed to promote participation in specific activities.
The authors are with the School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.