Physical activity knowledge, attitudes and practices of the elderly in Bloemfontein old age homes

  • PE Pienaar School of Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
  • M De Swart School of Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
  • M De Vries School of Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
  • H Roos School of Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
  • G Joubert Department of Biostatistics, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Keywords: fitness, elderly, knowledge, survey, old-age home

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to describe 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

Author Biographies

PE Pienaar, School of Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Medical student
M De Swart, School of Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Medical Student
M De Vries, School of Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Medical Student
H Roos, School of Medicine, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Medical Student
G Joubert, Department of Biostatistics, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
BA, MSc
Published
2004-11-01
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2078-6204
print ISSN: 2078-6190