Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Vol. 39 No. 1, January/February 2002
Pages 95 - 103

Personal characteristics that influence exercise behavior of older adults

Lisa W. Boyette, MEd; Adrienne Lloyd, MEd; James E. Boyette, MSICS; Erica Watkins, BA; Lori Furbush, PhD; Sandra B. Dunbar, PhD; L. Jerome Brandon, PhD

Atlanta VA Medical Center, Rehabilitation Research & Development Center, Atlanta, GA; Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Emory University School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA; Veterans Affairs, Health Eligibility Center, Atlanta, GA; Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA; Department of Kinesiology and Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

Abstract: Long-term exercise participation among older adults will result in healthier lifestyles and reduced need for health care. A better understanding, therefore, of what influences older individuals to start and maintain exercise plans would be beneficial. The twofold purpose of this study was (1) to create a knowledge base of determinants that influence exercise behavior in older adults and (2) to have health professionals prioritize determinants that affect exercise initiation and adherence in older adults. The expert panel examined nine determinants within the category of personal characteristics: age, gender, ethnicity, occupation, educational level, socioeconomic status, biomedical status, smoking status, and past exercise participation. The experts rated the determinants on importance for influencing exercise behavior of older adults. This expert panel concluded that older adults who are in good health and have a history of exercise activity might be more likely to participate in long-term exercise programs.

Key words: aging, determinants, exercise.

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