Seven A’s of Active Aging: Older Men’s Suggestions for Physical Activity Programs

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
View More View Less
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $77.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $103.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $147.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $196.00

In an attempt to offset the widespread anticipated impact of aging populations, active aging programs have become nearly ubiquitous in Western society. Nonetheless, older adults tend to remain relatively inactive. The perspectives of older adults constitute a key resource to help guide active aging efforts. Moreover, gender-sensitized and ecological approaches to physical activity programming may contribute markedly to the efficacy and inclusiveness of such initiatives. Considering the paucity of research regarding older men’s suggestions for physical activity programs, this study involved semistructured interviews to ascertain the perceptions among 19 older men (aged 75–90 years). Through a thematic analysis, seven key attributes emerged that participants believed physical activity programs should possess: affordable, available, accessible, adapted, alternative, accompanied, and awareness. The complexities and implications pertaining to these attributes are discussed in the context of ecological theory and ideals of masculinity.

The authors are with the Department of Kinesiology, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Deneau (deneau11@uwindsor.ca) is corresponding author.
  • Active Aging Research Team. (2017). Choose to move. Retrieved from https://www.choosetomove.info/

  • Atchley, R.C. (1999). Continuity and adaptation in aging: Creating positive experiences. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

  • Boggatz, T., & Meinhart, C.M. (2017). Health promotion among older adults in Austria: A qualitative study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 26(7–8), 11061118. PubMed ID: 27681839 doi:10.1111/jocn.13603

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bottorff, J.L., Seaton, C.L., Johnson, S.T., Caperchione, C.M., Oliffe, J.L., More, K.,…Tillotson, S.M. (2015). An updated review of interventions that include promotion of physical activity for adult men. Sports Medicine, 45(6), 775800. PubMed ID: 25430599 doi:10.1007/s40279-014-0286-3

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bowling, A., & Dieppe, P. (2005). What is successful ageing and who should define it? British Medical Journal, 331(7531), 15481551. PubMed ID: 16373748 doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7531.1548

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bredland, E.L., Magnus, E., & Vik, K. (2015). Physical activity patterns in older men. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 33(1), 87102. doi:10.3109/02703181.2014.995855

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brown, A. (2008). Health after the workplace—Is retirement a health hazard for men? Journal of Men’s Health, 5, 108109. PubMed ID: 31141623 doi:10.1016/j.jomh.2008.03.003

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Buchbinder, D. (2002). Unruly age: Representing the aging male body. In S. Pearce & V. Muller (Eds.), Manning the next millennium: Studies in masculinities (pp. 1128). Perth, Australia: Black Swan Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Canadian Men’s Sheds Association. (2019). About men’s sheds. Retrieved from http://menssheds.ca/about-mens-sheds/

  • Chen, J.H., Lauderdale, D.S., & Waite, L.J. (2016). Social participation and older adults’ sleep. Social Science & Medicine, 149, 164173. PubMed ID: 26724432 doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.11.045

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chodzko-Zajko, W.J., Proctor, D.N., Fiatarone Singh, M.A., Minson, C.T., Nigg, C.R., Salem, G.J., & Skinner, J.S. (2009). American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exercise and physical activity for older adults. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 41(7), 15101530. PubMed ID: 19516148 doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181a0c95c

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cobb, L.K., Godino, J.G., Selvin, E., Kucharska-Newton, A., Coresh, J., & Koton, S. (2016). Spousal influence on physical activity in middle-aged and older adults: The ARIC study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 183(5), 444451. PubMed ID: 26337074 doi:10.1093/aje/kwv104

    • 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 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 82-003-XPE– Health Reports, 22(1), 714. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2011001/article/11396-eng.pdf

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Connell, R.W., & Messerschmidt, J.W. (2005). Hegemonic masculinity: Rethinking the concept. Gender & Society, 19(6), 829859. doi:10.1177/0891243205278639

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2008). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Costello, E., Kafchinksi, M., Vrazel, J., & Sullivan, P. (2011). Motivators, barriers, and beliefs regarding physical activity in an older adult population. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, 34(3), 138147. PubMed ID: 21937904 doi:10.1519/JPT.0b013e31820e0e71

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Courtenay, W.H. (2000). Constructions of masculinity and their influence on men’s well-being: A theory of gender and health. Social Science & Medicine, 50(10), 13851401. PubMed ID: 10741575 doi:10.1016/S0277-9536(99)00390-1

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Creswell, J.W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

  • del Barrio, E., Marsillas, S., Buffel, T., Smetcoren, A., & Sancho, M. (2018). From active aging to active citizenship: The role of (age) friendliness. Social Sciences, 7(8), 134. doi:10.3390/socsci7080134

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dionigi, R.A. (2017). I would rather die than live sedentary: Is the demonization of passive leisure creating a future generation of older people who will not accept inactivity? Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, 33(3), 156161. doi:10.1097/TGR.0000000000000151

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dionigi, R.A., Horton, S., & Bellamy, J. (2011). Meanings of aging among older Canadian women of varying physical activity levels. Leisure Sciences, 33(5), 402419. doi:10.1080/01490400.2011.606779

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dupuis, S.L., & Alzheimer, M. (2008). Leisure and ageing well. World Leisure Journal, 50(2), 91107. doi:10.1080/04419057.2008.9674538

  • European Commission. (2012). Active ageing. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/commfrontoffice/publicopinion/archives/ebs/ebs_378_en.pdf

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fisher, K.L., Harrison, E.L., Bruner, B.G., Lawson, J.A., Reeder, B.A., Ashworth, N.L.,…Chad, K.E. (2018). Predictors of physical activity levels in community-dwelling older adults: A multivariate approach based on a socio-ecological framework. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 26(1), 114120. PubMed ID: 28595018 doi:10.1123/japa.2016-0286

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Folland, S. (2007). Does “community social capital” contribute to population health. Social Science & Medicine, 64, 23422354. PubMed ID: 17433512 doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.03.003

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Franco, M.R., Tong, A., Howard, K., Sherrington, C., Ferreira, P.H., Pinto, R.Z., & Ferreira, M.L. (2015). Older people’s perspectives on participation in physical activity: A systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative literature. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49(19), 12681276. PubMed ID: 25586911 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2014-094015

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gard, M., & Dionigi, R. (2016). The world turned upside down: Sport, policy, and ageing. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 8(4), 737743. doi:10.1080/19406940.2016.1186719

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gard, M., Dionigi, R., Horton, S., Baker, J., Weir, P., & Dionigi, C. (2017). The normalization of sport for older people? Annals of Leisure Research, 20(3), 253272. doi:10.1080/11745398.2016.1250646

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Glass, T.A., de Leon, C.M., Marottoli, R.A., Berkman, L.F. (1999). Population based study of social and productive activities as predictors of survival among elderly Americans. British Medical Journal, 319(7208), 478483. PubMed ID: 10454399 doi:10.1136/bmj.319.7208.478

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Golding, B., Brown, M., Foley, A., Harvey, J., & Gleeson, L. (2007). Men’s sheds in Australia: Learning through community contexts. Report for the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. Retrieved from www.ncver.edu.au/publications/1780.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gomes, M., Figueiredo, D., Teixeira, L., Poveda, V., Paúl, C., Santos-Silva, A., & Costa, E. (2017). Physical inactivity among older adults across Europe based on the SHARE database. Age and Ageing, 46(1), 7177. PubMed ID: 28181637 doi:10.1093/ageing/afw165

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grant, B.C. (2008). An insider’s view on physical activity in later life. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 9(6), 817829. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2008.01.003

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grant, B.C., & O’Brien Cousins, S. (2001). Aging and physical activity: The promise of qualitative research. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 9(3), 237244. doi:10.1123/japa.9.3.237

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Green, J.H., & Boyle, F.E. (2001). Lack of awareness of public health promotion messages among a group of adult New Zealanders who meet national guidelines for food intake and physical activity. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 10(1), 1720. PubMed ID: 11708603 doi:10.1046/j.1440-6047.2001.00207.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Griffin, M., & Phoenix, C. (2014). Learning to run from narrative foreclosure: One woman’s story of aging and physical activity. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 22(3), 393404. PubMed ID: 23981478 doi:10.1123/JAPA.2012-0300

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Heisel, M.J., Flett, G.L., Moore, S.L., Links, P.S., Norman, R.M., Sarma, S., … O’Rourke, N. (2016). Meaning-Centered Men’s Groups: Aiming to enhance psychological resiliency among men facing retirement. The Gerontologist, 56(Suppl. 3), 613614. doi:10.1093/geront/gnw162.2477

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Horton, S., Dionigi, R.A., & Bellamy, J. (2013). Canadian women aged 75 and over: Attitudes towards health related role models and female masters athletes. The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, 7(3), 3347.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Huy, C., Schneider, S., & Thiel, A., (2010). Perceptions of aging and health behavior: Determinants of a healthy diet in an older German population. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 14(5), 381385. PubMed ID: 20424806 doi:10.1007/s12603-010-0084-z

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Johnson, J.L., Oliffe, J.L., Kelly, M.T., Galdas, P., & Ogrodniczuk, J.S. (2012). Men’s discourses of help-seeking in the context of men’s depression. Sociology of Health & Illness, 34(3), 345361. PubMed ID: 21707661 doi:10.1111/j.1467-9566.2011.01372.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kerr, J., Norman, G., Millstein, R., Adams, M.A., Morgan, C., Langer, R.D., & Allison, M. (2014). Neighborhood environment and physical activity among older women: Findings from the San Diego Cohort of the Women’s Health Initiative. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 11(6), 10701077. PubMed ID: 23963780 doi:10.1123/jpah.2012-0159

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kerr, J., Rosenberg, D., & Frank, L. (2012). The role of the built environment in healthy aging: Community design, physical activity, and health among older adults. Journal of Planning Literature, 27(1), 4360. doi:10.1177/0885412211415283

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kilmartin, C.T. (2007). The masculine self (3rd ed.). Cornwall, NY: Sloan.

  • Krueger, H., Turner, D., Krueger, J., & Ready, E. (2014). The economic benefits of risk factor reduction in Canada: Tobacco smoking, excess weight and physical inactivity. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 105(1), e69e78. PubMed ID: 24735700 doi:10.17269/cjph.105.4084

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lassen, A.J., & Moreira, T. (2014). Unmaking old age: Political and cognitive formats of active ageing. Journal of Aging Studies, 30, 3346. PubMed ID: 24984906 doi:10.1016/j.jaging.2014.03.004

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mackey, D.C., Perkins, A., Hong Tai, K., Sims-Gould, J., & McKay, H.A. (2019). Men on the move: A randomized controlled feasibility trial of a scalable, choice-based, physical activity and active transportation intervention for older men. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity. 114. doi:10.1123/japa.2018-0137

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Merriam, S.B. (2002). Qualitative research in practice: Examples for discussion and analysis. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

  • Nettleton, S. (2006). The sociology of health and illness. London, UK: Polity.

  • Oliffe, J.L., Rasmussen, B., Bottorff, J.L., Kelly, M.T., Galdas, P.M., Phinney, A., & Ogrodniczuk, J.S. (2013). Masculinities, work, and retirement among older men who experience depression. Qualitative Health Research, 23(12), 16261637. PubMed ID: 24177678 doi:10.1177/1049732313509408

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative evaluation and research methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

  • Phoenix, C. (2018). Why qualitative research is needed in gerontology and how we can do it better. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 73(7), e81e85. doi:10.1093/geronb/gby079

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Phoenix, C., & Grant, B. (2009). Expanding the agenda for research on the physically active aging body. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 17(3), 362379. PubMed ID: 19799105 doi:10.1123/japa.17.3.362

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Plotnikoff, R.C., Brunet, S., Courneya, K.S., Spence, J.C., Birkett, N.J., Marcus, B., & Whiteley, J. (2007). The efficacy of stage-matched and standard public health materials for promoting physical activity in the workplace: The physical activity workplace study (PAWS). American Journal of Health Promotion, 21(6), 501509. doi:10.4278/0890-1171-21.6.501

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Plotnikoff, R.C., Lippke, S., Johnson, S.T., Hugo, K., Rodgers, W., & Spence, J.C. (2011). Awareness of Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living in a large community sample. American Journal of Health Promotion, 25(5), 294297. PubMed ID: 21534830 doi:10.4278/ajhp.090211-ARB-60

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rasinaho, M., Hirvensalo, M., Leinonen, R., Lintunen, T., & Rantanen, T. (2007). Motives for and barriers to physical activity among older adults with mobility limitations. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 15(1), 90102. PubMed ID: 17387231 doi:10.1123/japa.15.1.90

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sallis, J.F., Owen, N., & Fisher, E.B. (2008). Ecological models of health behavior. In K. Glanz, B.K. Rimer, & K. Viswanath (Eds.), Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 465486). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schippers, M. (2007). Recovering the feminine other: Masculinity, femininity, and gender hegemony. Theory and Society, 36(1), 85102. doi:10.1007/s11186-007-9022-4

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sims-Gould, J., Ahn, R., Li, N., Ottoni, C.A., Mackey, D.C., & Mckay, H.A. (2018). “The social side is as important as the physical side”: Older men’s experiences of physical activity. American Journal of Men’s Health, 12(6), 21732182. PubMed ID: 31141553 doi:10.1177/1557988318802691

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, J.A., Braunack-Mayer, A., & Wittert, G. (2006). What do we know about men’s help-seeking and health service use? Medical Journal of Australia, 184(2), 8183. PubMed ID: 16411874 doi:10.5694/j.1326-5377.2006tb00124.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, J.A., Braunack-Mayer, A., Wittert, G., & Warin, M. (2007). “I’ve been independent for so damn long!”: Independence, masculinity and aging in a help seeking context. Journal of Aging Studies, 21(4), 325335. doi:10.1016/j.jaging.2007.05.004

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Song, M., & Kong, E. (2015). Older adults’ definitions of health: A metasynthesis. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 52(6), 10971106. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.02.001

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spence, J.C., & Lee, R.E. (2003). Toward a comprehensive model of physical activity. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 4(1), 724. doi:10.1016/S1469-0292(02)00014-6

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stathokostas, L., & Jones, G. (2016). Exercise modality choices one year after intervention in previously inactive older men and women. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 24(3), 435443. doi:10.1123/japa.2015-0167

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Statistics Canada. (2017). Suicide rates: An overview. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-624-x/2012001/article/11696-eng.htm

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Statistics Canada. (2018). Ethnic diversity and immigration. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/11-402-x/2011000/chap/imm/imm-eng.htm

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sundsli, K., Espnes, G.A., & Söderhamn, O. (2013). Lived experiences of self-care among older physically active urban-living individuals. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 13(8), 123130. doi:10.2147/CIA.S39689

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tate, R.B., Swift, A.U., & Bayomi, D.J. (2013). Older men’s lay definitions of successful aging over time: The Manitoba follow-up study. International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 76(4), 297322. PubMed ID: 23855184 doi:10.2190/AG.76.4.b

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thandi, M.K.G., Phinney, A., Oliffe, J.L., Wong, S., McKay, H., Sims-Gould, J., & Sahota, S. (2018). Engaging older men in physical activity: Implications for health promotion practice. American Journal of Men’s Health, 12(6), 20642075.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thornton, C., Kerr, J., Conway, T., Saelens, B., Sallis, J., Ahn, D.,…King, A. (2017). Physical activity in older adults: An ecological approach. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 51(2), 159169. PubMed ID: 27680568 doi:10.1007/s12160-016-9837-1

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Troiano, R.P., Berrigan, D., Dodd, K.W., Masse, L.C., Tilert, T., & McDowell, M. (2008). Physical activity in the united states measured by accelerometer. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 40(1), 181188. doi:10.1249/mss.0b013e31815a51b3

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • United Nations. (2017). World Population Prospects 2017 Revision. Retrieved from https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Publications/Files/WPP2017_KeyFindings.pdf

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Whaley, D.E. (2014). An argument for a developmental approach in studying older adults’ physical activity. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 22(3), 301301. PubMed ID: 24948677 doi:10.1123/JAPA.2014-0133

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wojnar, D.M., & Swanson, K.M. (2007). Phenomenology: An exploration. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 25(3), 172180. PubMed ID: 17724386 doi:10.1177/0898010106295172

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • World Health Organization. (2017). Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/ageing/WHO-GSAP-2017.pdf?ua=1

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 453 453 126
Full Text Views 36 36 0
PDF Downloads 28 28 0