2010

Authors

  • Urska Arnautovska Urska Arnautovska

Population ageing presents a challenge for individuals and health systems globally. While physical activity (PA) has been associated with a range of health benefits, including reducing the risk of age-related illness and disability, older adults are a group at risk for physical inactivity. The significance of this research program is in focusing on the multiple social-cognitive factors influencing PA in older adults specifically. Literature to date has tended to focus on conscious, reflective decision-making processes impacting PA. However, PA is also influenced by non-conscious, automatic processes. Furthermore, research applying multiple theoretical frameworks to understanding PA in older adults is limited. Currently, no comprehensive and theoretically integrative studies investigating PA in older adults have been conducted, which undermines efforts to facilitate PA in this population. Given that interventions aiming to promote PA in younger populations may not generalise to older individuals and that existing interventions targeting older adults produce only small effects, it is important to develop programs that are based on theory and that are also acceptable and feasible for older adults. Moreover, although the use of theory has been associated with intervention effectiveness, there is currently limited understanding of which behaviour change techniques (BCTs) are most appropriate to target specific theory-based constructs and for specific population groups. In addition, there is poor understanding of the best strategies to implement such techniques so that they are most useful for older adults