Physical activity knowledge, attitudes and practices of the elderly in Bloemfontein old age homes
Methods: Three hundred and ninety residents (65 years and older) from 11 Bloemfontein old age homes participated
in the study. All participants gave informed oral consent before answering a structured questionnaire.
Results: The participants had a good general knowledge of the influence of physical activity on life quality, but had less knowledge of the influence of exercise on cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension. Most of the participants (80.5%) enjoyed exercising and 60% had a positive attitude towards exercise. Most participants (62.8%) felt that
they had not received enough information about physical activity from their doctor. Few participants (3.8%) took part in prescribed exercise programmes.
Conclusions: The participants had a positive attitude towards physical activity, but lacked sufficient knowledge
of the practice of physical fitness to be able to understand adequate physical fitness programmes. Elderly people who do not exercise because of a specific health problem may be motivated to exercise in a way that improves quality of life.
SA Fam Pract 2004;46(8): 17-19