Associations between individual and environmental factors and habitual physical activity among older Chinese adults: A social–ecological perspective

Xiangren Yi, Zachary Pope, Zan Gao, Shumei Wang, Fang Pan, Jingpeng Yan, Meng Liu, Peipei Wu, Jingjing Xu, Rui Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose To examine, within a social–ecological framework, associations between multifaceted individual and environmental factors and habitual physical activity (HPA) among older Chinese adults. Methods Through a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, a survey instrument assessing various factors underlying 3 social–ecological dimensions of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and community and environmental resources was developed. Using a cross-sectional design, older adults (n = 1580, aged 67 ± 7 years) recruited from 10 communities in Shandong province completed the social–ecological survey of HPA. Data were analyzed using Partial Least Squares Path Modeling. Results Factors related to intrapersonal (medical knowledge, motivation, physical function, sport skills, socioeconomic status, and education), interpersonal (social support, social activity, and social norms), and community and physical environmental resources (safety, capacity, availability of and access to physical activity facilities) were found to be significantly associated with older adults’ participation in HPA. Conclusion The findings provide an initial validation of a social–ecological approach to the study of HPA in China, suggesting that strategies aimed at promoting physical activity in older adults should address multiple levels of factors that may contribute to the likelihood of older Chinese adults being physically active.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-321
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sport and Health Science
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work presented in this article was supported by grant from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China ( 2015FY111600 ).

Keywords

  • Exercise
  • Interpersonal resources
  • Intrapersonal resources
  • Older adults
  • Physical activity
  • Social–ecological

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