Nav: Home

Access to water and diverse terrain encourage elderly in physical activity

January 29, 2018

A recently published study, conducted at the Gerontology Research Center of the University of Jyväskylä, found associations between features of natural environment in the home neighborhood and physical activity of older people.

"Water fronts are favorable areas for outdoor mobility of older people experiencing walking difficulties. When a person's walking capability is good, versatile natural areas seem to attract older people to outdoor mobility," says MSc Kirsi Keskinen. The study will be part of her doctoral dissertation on associations between environmental features and outdoor mobility of older people.

The study results show that older people experiencing walking difficulties are more likely to be physically active when water areas are present and land use is more diverse in their neighborhood environment, compared to peers living in neighborhoods without such features. Older people without walking difficulties are more likely to be physically active when the habitat in natural areas is more versatile. Thus with declining walking capacity, environmental features that attract to outdoor mobility may change. "Overall, regardless of walking difficulties, participants living in a neighborhood with water areas and diverse terrain mostly perceive nature as a facilitator for outdoor mobility. Based on these results, it would be beneficial to take into consideration the outdoor mobility possibilities of elderlies when planning the environment.", says Keskinen.

For this study 848 community-dwelling older people aged 75-90 years, who were living in the municipalities of Jyväskylä and Muurame in Central Finland, were interviewed. The participants were divided into two groups based on reported difficulties in walking 500 meters. The environmental features were defined within 500m and 1,000m distance from participants' homes using geographical information system.
-end-
This study is part of the project 'Geographic characteristics, outdoor mobility and physical activity in old age (GEOage)', which is funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. The PhD study of Keskinen is funded also by the Foundation for Municipal Development.

For further information, please contact:

Project Researcher Kirsi Keskinen, Gerontology Research Center and the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland; kirsi.e.keskinen@jyu.fi; tel: 358-40-8054203

University of Jyväskylä - Jyväskylän yliopisto

Related Physical Activity Articles:

Physical activity may ward off heart damage
Physical activity can lower the risk of heart damage in middle-aged and older adults and reduce the levels of heart damage in people who are obese, according to research published today in JACC: Heart Failure.
How physical activity and sedentary time affect adolescents' bones
A large prospective study in 309 adolescent boys and girls underscores the importance of physical activity for developing bone strength during growth.
Few heart attack survivors get recommended physical activity
Researchers have found that only 16 percent of heart attack survivors get the recommended amount of physical activity in the weeks after hospitalization, despite evidence that physical activity reduces the risk of having a second heart attack.
Parents' physical activity associated with preschooler activity in underserved populations
Preschool-age children from low-income families are more likely to be physically active if parents increase activity and reduce sedentary behavior while wearing movement monitors (accelerometers), according to a Vanderbilt study published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
AMPK -- the enzyme that makes physical activity healthy
ampk Physical activity benefits diabetics and others with insulin resistance.
More Physical Activity News and Physical Activity Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...