“I Just Roll Over, Pick Myself Up, and Carry On!” Exploring the Fall-Risk Experience of Canadian Masters Athletes

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $76.00

1 year subscription

USD  $101.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $144.00

2 year subscription

USD  $189.00

Objectives: The risk of falling increases in adults aged 65 years and older. A common barrier to take up physical activity in sedentary older adults is the fear of falls and injury. Experiences of master athletes can provide insights into management of the risk of falling. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the fall-risk experience of masters athletes actively competing in sport. Methods: Masters athletes aged 55 years and older (N = 22) described their experiences in semistructured interviews. Data were analyzed through an interpretive–constructivist paradigm using inductive content analysis. Results: Five dominant themes emerged: acceptance, learning, awareness, resilience, and self-fulfillment. Participants of this study reported an acceptance of the risk they take in sport for falls and injuries in their pursuits for self-fulfillment. Discussion: Findings indicate that master athletes accept the risk for falls and injuries in sport, find ways to adapt, and continue to compete because it is self-fulfilling. Sharing their experiences might inspire other older adults to get active as a rewarding means of remaining independent.

Brennan is with Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. Zecevic, and Sibbald are with the School of Health Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. Sibbald is also with Schulich Interfaculty Program in Public Health, Dept. of Family Medicine, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. Nolte is with the School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Dylan Brennan at dbrenna4@uwo.ca.
  • Ajjawi, R., & Higgs, J. (2007). Using hermeneutic phenomenology to investigate how experienced practitioners learn to communicate clinical reasoning. The Qualitative Report, 12(2), 612638. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol12/ ss4/6

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baker, J., Horton, S., & Weir, P. (2010). The masters athlete: Understanding the role of sport and exercise in optimizing aging. London, UK: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barnett, I., van Sluijs, E.M.F., & Ogilvie, D. (2012). Physical activity and transitioning to retirement. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 43(3), 329336. PubMed ID: 22898127 doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2012.05.026

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bauman, A., Merom, D., Bull, F.C., Buchner, D.M., & Fiatarone Singh, M.A. (2016). Updating the evidence for physical activity: Summative reviews of the epidemiological evidence, prevalence, and interventions to promote “Active Aging”. The Gerontologist, 56(52), 268280. doi:10.1093/geront/gnw031

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brymer, E. (2011). Risk taking in extreme sports: A phenomenological perspective. Annals of Leisure Research, 13(1–2), 218238. doi:10.1080/11745398.2010.9686845

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Caelli, K. (2001). Engaging with phenomenology: Is it more of a challenge than it needs to be? Qualitative Health Research, 11(2), 273281. PubMed ID: 11221120 doi:10.1177/104973201129118993

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Canadian Heritage. (2013). Sport participation 2010: Research paper (Cat. No.: CH24 1/2014E-PDF). Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada.

  • Chu, R.Z. (2017). Preventing in-patient falls: The nurse’s pivotal role. Nursing, 47(3), 2430. doi:10.1097/01.NURSE.0000512872.83762.69

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Colley, R.C., Garriguet, D., Janssen, I., Craig, C.L., Clarke, J., & Tremblay, M.S. (2011). Physical activity of Canadian adults: Accelerometer results from the 2007–2008 Canadian health measures survey. Health Reports, 22(1), 714. PubMed ID: 21510585

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dionigi, R. (2005). A leisure pursuit that ‘goes against the grain’: Older people and competitive sport. Annals of Leisure Research, 8(1), 122. doi:10.1080/11745398.2005.10600957

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dionigi, R., Baker, J., & Horton, S. (2011). Older athletes’ perceived benefits of competition. The International Journal of Sport and Society, 2(2), 1728. doi:10.18848/2152-7857/CGP/v02i02/53869

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Donath, L., van Dieen, J., & Faude, O. (2016). Exercise-based fall prevention in the elderly: What about agility? Sports Medicine, 46, 143149. PubMed ID: 26395115 doi:10.1007/s40279-015-0389-5

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • El-Khoury, F., Cassou, B., Charles, M.A., & Dargent-Molina, P. (2013). The effect of fall prevention exercise programmes on fall induced injuries in community dwelling older adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. British Medical Journal, 347. doi:10.1136/bmj.f6234

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Elo, S., & Kyngäs, H. (2007). The qualitative content analysis process. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 62(1), 107115. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04569.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fleig, L., McAllister, M.M., Chen, P., Iverson, J., Milne, K., McKay, H.A., … Ashe, M.C. (2016). Health behaviour change theory meets falls prevention: Feasibility of a habit-based balance and strength exercise intervention for older adults. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 22, 114122. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2015.07.002

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Franke, T., Tong, C., Ashe, M.C., McKay, H., Sims-Gould, J., & The Walk The Talk Team. (2013). The secrets of highly active older adults. Journal of Aging Studies, 27, 398409. PubMed ID: 24300060 doi:10.1016/j.jaging.2013.09.003

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gonzalez, K., Fuentes, J., & Marquez, J.L. (2017). Physical inactivity, sedentary behavior and chronic diseases. Korean Journal of Family Medicine, 38, 111115. PubMed ID: 28572885 doi:10.4082/kjfm.2017.38.3.111

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grant, B.C. (2001). ‘You’re never too old’: Beliefs about physical activity and playing sport in later life. Ageing and Society, 21, 777798. doi:10.1017/S0144686X01008492

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Guba, E.G., & Lincoln, Y.S. (1994). Competing paradigms in qualitative research. In N.K. Denzin & Y.S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (1st ed., pp. 105117). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hobbs, N., Godfrey, A., Lara, J., Errington, L., Meyer, T.D., Rochester, L., … Sniehotta, F.F. (2013). Are behavioral interventions effective in increasing physical activity at 12 to 36 months in adults aged 55 to 70 years? A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Medicine, 11(75), 112.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lamb, S.E., Jorstad-Stein, E.C., Hauer, K., & Becker, C. (2005). Development of a common outcome data set for fall injury prevention trials: The prevention of falls network Europe consensus. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 53, 16181622. PubMed ID: 16137297 doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2005.53455.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lamoth, C.J.C., & van Heuvelen, M.J.G. (2012). Sports activities are reflected in the local stability and regularity of body sway: Older ice-skaters have better postural control than inactive elders. Gait and Posture, 35, 489493. 22178031 doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2011.11.014

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marques, E.A., Mota, J., & Carvalho, J. (2012). Exercise effects on bone mineral density in older adults: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Age, 34, 14931515. PubMed ID: 21922251 doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9311-8

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McPhee, J.S., French, D.P., Jackson, D., Nazroo, J., Pendleton, N., & Degens, H. (2016). Physical activity in older age: Perspectives for healthy ageing and frailty. Biogerontology, 17, 567580. PubMed ID: 26936444 doi:10.1007/s10522-016-9641-0

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Miles, M.B., Huberman, A.M., & Saldana, J. (2014). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook. London, UK: Sage.

  • Morrow, S. L. (2005). Quality and trustworthiness in qualitative research in counseling psychology. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52(2), 250260. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.52.2.250

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moschny, A., Platen, P., Klaassen-Mielke, R., Trampisc, U., & Hinrichs, T. (2011). Barriers to physical activity in older adults in Germany: A cross-sectional study. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8(121). doi:10.1186/1479-5868-8-121

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ponterotto, J.G. (2005). Qualitative research in counseling psychology: A primer on research paradigms and philosophy of science. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52(2), 126136. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.52.2.126

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pruchno, R., & Carr, D. (2017). Successful aging 2.0: Resilience and beyond. Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 72(2), 201203. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbw214

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Public Health Agency of Canada. (2014). Seniors’ falls in Canada: Second report (Cat. No.: HP25- 1/2014E-PDF). Ottawa, Canada: Author.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rowe, J.W., & Kahn, R.L. (1997). Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 37(4), 433440. PubMed ID: 9279031 doi:10.1093/geront/37.4.433

  • Ryff, C.D., & Keyes, C.L.M. (1995). The structure of psychological well-being revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(4), 719727. PubMed ID: 7473027 doi:10.1037/0022-3514.69.4.719

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schutzer, K.A., & Graves, B.S. (2004). Barriers and motivations to exercise in older adults. Preventive Medicine, 39, 10561061. PubMed ID: 15475041 doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.04.003

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sherrington, C., Michaleff, Z.A., Fairhall, N., Paul, S.S., Tiedemann, A., Whitney, J., … Lord, S. (2017). Exercise to prevent falls in older adults: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51, 17501758. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096547

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sherrington, C., Whitney, J.C., Lord, S.R., Herbert, R.D., Cumming, R.G., & Close, J.C.T. (2008). Effective exercise for the prevention of falls: A systematic review and meta analysis. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 56(12), 22342243. PubMed ID: 19093923 doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.02014.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Statistics Canada. (2011). Injuries in Canada: Insights from the Canadian Community Health Survey (Cat. No.: 82-624-X). Ottawa, Canada: Author. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624- x/2011001/article/11506-eng.htm

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Statistics Canada. (2013). Canada’s population estimates: Age and sex, 2013 (Cat. No.: 11-001- X). Ottawa, Canada: Author.

  • Stevens, J.A., Sleet, D.A., & Rubenstein, L.Z. (2017). The influence of older adults’ beliefs and attitudes on adopting fall prevention behaviors. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 17. doi:10.1177/1559827616687263

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • van Manen, M. (1990). Researching the lived experience: Human science for an action sensitive pedagogy. London, Canada: The Althouse Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weir, P. (2010). Physical activity: What role does it play in achieving successful aging? In J. Baker, P. Weir, & S. Horton (Eds.), The masters athlete: Understanding the role of sport and exercise in optimizing aging (1st ed., pp. 159172). London, UK: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weir, P., Baker, J., & Horton, S. (2010). The emergence of masters sport: Participatory trends and historical developments. In J. Baker, P. Weir, & S. Horton (Eds.), The masters athlete: Understanding the role of sport and exercise in optimizing aging (1st ed., pp. 714). London, UK: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zourikian, N., Jarock, C., & Mulder, K. (2010). Chapter 12: Physical activity, exercise, and sports. In D. Hum (Ed.), All about hemophilia: A guide for families (pp. 118). Montreal, Canada: Canadian Hemophilia Society.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 193 180 26
Full Text Views 43 43 4
PDF Downloads 17 17 0