Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Older Adults Concern For Personal Health Linked To Walking Difficulty

Date:
March 24, 2009
Source:
Oregon State University
Summary:
Older adults who worry about their health engage in less physical activity, and those who participate in less activity are more likely to report having difficulty walking, according to a new study.

Older adults who worry about their health engage in less physical activity, and those who participate in less activity are more likely to report having difficulty walking, according to a new study.

Related Articles


The research, featured in the current issue of Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, was conducted by lead author Kin-Kit Li of The University of Hong Kong when he was a doctoral student at Oregon State University, and coauthored by Bradley Cardinal and Samuel Vuchinich, faculty members at OSU.

Mobility, which declines with aging, has been identified as one of the key topics in aging research, as walking difficulty reduces quality of life. Most studies have emphasized the behavioral or physiological mechanisms that lead to walking difficulty among older adults. Not until recently have researchers started to look at possible psychological effects.

Health worry has been suggested to have an interesting mix of effects on health behaviors and outcomes. Some studies have suggested health worry may be considered a protective mechanism, which motivates people to engage in health behaviors such as regular physical activity. However, this study showed the opposite relationship. In a representative sample of older adults in the United States, people with a high degree of health worry engaged in less physical activity.

Health worry, physical inactivity, and walking difficulty may actually combine to have a negative effect on each other, the researchers say.

"Our research shows that a key component to avoid walking difficulty in older adults is to resolve health worry issues earlier in life," said Cardinal, a professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at OSU.

Health professionals often use warnings of diseases and premature death to promote physical activity. The authors suggest that health-related information should include appropriate self-regulation and coping strategies for health worry. Instead of using health threat as a motivator, evidence-based programs for behavior change should be implemented.

"Using threats and fear-tactics to encourage physical activity in older adults will not work," Cardinal said.

Cardinal's past studies have shown that matching various behavioral change strategies with participants' readiness for change is effective. In addition, implementing screening tools, such as the revised Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire prior to initiating a physical activity program, should be considered for use more widely among older adults.

These strategies would ease concerns about the associated risks of participating in physical activity, the authors note, and as a result older adults could benefit from increased physical activity participation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon State University. "Older Adults Concern For Personal Health Linked To Walking Difficulty." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090324171625.htm>.
Oregon State University. (2009, March 24). Older Adults Concern For Personal Health Linked To Walking Difficulty. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090324171625.htm
Oregon State University. "Older Adults Concern For Personal Health Linked To Walking Difficulty." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090324171625.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins