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Br J Community Nurs. 2013 Jul;18(7):340-2, 344, 346-8 passim.

Physical activity among the elderly in China: a qualitative study.

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Affiliated Hospital of Hebei University, China.


The benefits of physical activity are well known, but little is known about the views of elderly Chinese people regarding physical activity, and what factors affect this. This qualitative study aims to explore the experiences and perceptions of the elderly community regarding physical activity and to gain a better understanding of these. A qualitative study of 12 elderly Chinese people was undertaken using the Colaizzi phenomenological approach and using semi-structured interviews to gather data. Three key themes emerged relating to current physical activity status, beliefs about physical activity and factors influencing physical activity. This study provides new knowledge about the elderly community's experiences and perceptions of physical activity. By understanding these, were may show that promoting active lifestyles and building physical activity into and around day-to-day activities are important strategies in increasing levels of activity. Furthermore, the need for appropriate activity facilities, available space, peer motivation and general social support could promote activity beliefs and subsequent adherence among the elderly community.

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