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Steven P. Hooker

The mission of the California Active Aging Project is to enable and encourage Californians over 50 years of age to lead healthier lives by promoting physical activity and creating social and physical environments that support active aging. The article briefly describes the approaches the California Department of Health Services is taking to promote physical activity to older adults. Integral to the selected approaches is the translation of research into practice, engagement of diverse agencies and organizations as partners, and strengthening of community capacity to promote physical activity.

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Jordan Deneau, Sean Horton and Paula M. van Wyk

As the global population ages dramatically ( United Nations, 2017 ), active aging and age-friendly initiatives are becoming nearly ubiquitous in developed nations ( del Barrio, Marsillas, Buffel, Smetcoren, & Sancho, 2018 ). Despite attempts to improve physical activity levels among older adults

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Annie Holt, Andy H. Lee, Jonine Jancey, Deborah Kerr and Peter Howat

Purpose:

This study investigated physical activity (PA) facilities of retirement villages (RVs) and neighborhood PA barriers identified by RV residents in Perth, Australia.

Methods:

An environmental audit of PA facilities was undertaken on 50 RV with 50+ independent living units, using the Audit of Physical Activity Resources for Seniors. Telephone interviews with 200 RV residents were conducted to identify neighborhood barriers to walking, and to obtain information on utilization of facilities and attendance of PA programs.

Results:

Larger size RV appeared to provide significantly more PA facilities and programs. Utilization of PA facilities and program attendance were low (≈ 50%) and not associated with the RV environment (size, age, and facilities). Neighborhood barriers to walking were unsafe streets and hills.

Discussion:

RV offers an attractive residential option with facilities that support active aging, but it is important to understand the barriers and enablers to use such facilities and attend programs offered.

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Elizabeth C.J. Pike

The proposal that older people should engage in “active aging” has come to dominate local, national, and international policy agendas. This encompasses a variety of ways that older persons might maintain active citizenship, but invariably promotes physical activity and exercise as having health and social benefits, despite a lack of conclusive evidence to support such claims. In this paper, I further examine the meaning of these claims through an analysis of policy documents, reports, and media articles which promote the perceived benefits of physical activity in later life. I revisit Cohen’s (2002) concepts of folk devils and moral panics to understand how these messages simultaneously problematize older people while creating a market for emergent moral entrepreneurs who claim to have the solution to the problem they have in part created. I conclude with recommendations for improved understanding of the benefits and appropriate provision for active aging.

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Jamie E. L. Spinney and Hugh Millward

This research uses four nationally representative samples of time diary data, spanning almost 30 yr, that are fused with energy expenditure information to enumerate the median daily duration of moderate or vigorous-effort activity, quantify the prevalence of Canadians age 65 yr and older who are meeting recommended daily levels of physical activity, and explore the factors affecting rates of active living. Results indicate that 41.1% of older Canadians met recommended levels of physical activity in 1992, 40.6% in 1998, 43.5% in 2005, and 39.6% in 2010. Both rates of active living and daily duration of aerobic activity exhibit significant differences among sociodemographic groups, with age, sex, activity limitation, urban-rural, and season exhibiting the most significant influences. This study illustrates the potential for time diary data to provide detailed surveillance of physical activity patterns, active aging research, and program development, as well.

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Jing Liao, Sanmei Chen, Sha Chen and Yung-Jen Yang

dancing provides its participants an opportunity to socialize with peers of their generation, so as to keep them socially engaged and dispel loneliness, which are determinants of active aging ( World Health Organization, 2002 ). Using square dancing as a natural exploratory example, this study aims to

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Edited by Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko

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Barbara E. Ainsworth

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Cassandra Phoenix and Bevan Grant

In this article, the authors consider the different approaches that can be used to examine the relationship between physical activity and aging. They propose that much is to be gained in our awareness of this dynamic relationship by drawing on multiple forms of knowledge that can generate diverse understandings regarding the impact of physical activity on physiological, psychological, and social aspects of aging. Accordingly, 3 different approaches to understanding the older physically (in)active body are presented. These are categorized as (a) the objective truth about the aging, physically active body; (b) the subjective truth about the aging, physically active body; and (c) “tales” about the aging, physically active body. The key underpinnings, strengths, and weaknesses of each approach are outlined. A number of examples from the literature are also offered to demonstrate where and how each approach has been used to contribute to our understanding about older people and physical activity. The more thorough, multidisciplinary, and wide spanning our knowledge of the aging, active body is, the more informed we might become in every dimension of its existence.

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Lynette Adamson and Glennys Parker

This study assessed a range of activities reported by older women in Australia. Women between 75 and 81 years of age (N = 3,955) from the older cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health responded to a request in a self-report survey for additional information concerning their health. Of these 3,955 women, 509 reported taking part in a variety of activities. Qualitative analysis of responses identified 55 coded categories of activities that were subsequently classified into four major themes: physical activities, creative pursuits, lifestyle, and social interaction. The data show that these older women are taking part in a wide range of activities.