Physical Activity Prevalence and Correlates Among New Zealand Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The aim of this study was to provide up-to-date information about physical activity (PA) levels in New Zealand older adults to inform the development and targeting of relevant health promotion initiatives. Nationally-representative survey (N = 1,468) data were analyzed to assess in people aged ≥ 60 years the prevalence of physical inactivity and meeting PA guidelines, differences between 2012 and 2014, and sociodemographic correlates. One-fifth (20.7%) of respondents were inactive; 46.2% met PA guidelines. Multivariate analyses revealed lower PA in 2014 versus 2012, and identified self-rated health and education as correlates of both PA measures. Age and socioeconomic deprivation were associated with physical inactivity only, while sex and employment were correlates of meeting PA guidelines. Low PA among older adults signals a need to promote PA engagement in that age group. This analysis aids effective intervention design by identifying specific segments of the older adult population that tailored health promotion initiatives should target.

Guiney and Machado are with the Dept. of Psychology, Brain Health Research Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand; and Brain Research New Zealand, Dunedin, New Zealand. Keall is with the Dept. of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand.

Address author correspondence to Hayley Guiney at hayley.guiney@psy.otago.ac.nz.
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