Social Relationships and Promoting Physical Activity Among Older People
Social relationships are central to our health and well-being. Substantive research has shown that increasing social engagement and support for physical activity within families, communities, and neighbourhoods can promote physical activity. Evidence also suggests adults’ social lives change well into older adulthood, and these changes impact older adults’ behaviours. Effective physical activity interventions for older adults should integrate adult development theory with known facilitators of physical activity behaviour. Specifically, integrating appropriate social support networks, considering the role of ageism and ageist language, and paying careful attention to the social environment are examined as key components to interventions designed to increase physical activity in older adult populations.
- Carlson, J. A., Sallis, J. F., Conway, T. L., Saelens, B. E., Frank, L. D., Kerr, J., et al. (2012). Interactions between psychosocial and built environment factors in explaining older adults’ physical activity. Preventive Medicine, 54, 68–73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.10.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Correa-de-Araujo, R. (2015). Cultural considerations for exercise in older adults. In G. M. Sullivan & A. K. Pomidor (Eds.), Exercise for aging adults (pp. 85–96). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16095-5.
- Cumming, E., & Henry, H. W. (1961). Growing old: The process of disengagement. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Emile, M., Chalabaev, A., Stephan, Y., Corrion, K., & d’Arripe-Longueville, F. (2014). Aging stereotypes and active lifestyle: Personal correlates of stereotype internalization and relationships with level of physical activity among older adults. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15(2), 198–204. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2013.11.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fiske, S. T., Cuddy, A. J. C., Glick, P., & Xu, J. (2002). A model of (often mixed) stereotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 878–902. https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-35220.127.116.118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gendron, T. L., Welleford, E. A., Inker, J., & White, J. T. (2015). The language of ageism: Why we need to use words carefully. The Gerontologist, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnv066.
- Greaves, C. J., Sheppard, K. E., Abraham, C., Hardeman, W., Roden, M., & Evans, P. H., et al. (2011). BMC Public Health, 11, 119. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/11/119
- Jang, H., Clemson, L., Lovarini, M., Willis, K., Lord, S. R., & Sherrington, C. (2016). Cultural influences on exercise participation and fall prevention: A systematic review and narrative synthesis. Disability and Rehabilitation, 38(8), 724–732. https://doi.org/10.3109/09638288.2015.1061606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kawachi, I., & Berkman, L. F. (2000). Social cohesion, social capital, and health. In L. Berkman & I. Kawachi (Eds.), Social epidemiology (pp. 174–190). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Loprinzi, P. D., & Joyner, C. (2016). Source and size of emotional and financial-related social support network on physical activity behavior among older adults. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 13, 776–779. https://doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2015-0629.
- Mahmood, A., Chaudhury, H., Michael, Y. L., Campo, M., Hay, K., & Sarte, A. (2012). A photovoice documentation of the role of neighborhood physical and social environments in older adults’ physical activity in two metropolitan areas in North America. Social Science & Medicine, 74, 1180–1192. https://doi.org/10.1016/socscimed.2011.12.039.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Markus, H. R., & Herzog, A. R. (1992). The role of the self-concept in aging. In K. W. Shaie & M. P. Lawton (Eds.), Annual review of gerontology and geriatrics (Vol. 11, pp. 110–143). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Martinez del Castillo, J., Jimenez-Beatty Navarro, J. E., Graupera Sanz, J. L., Martin Rodriguez, J., Campos Izquierdo, A., & Del Hierro Pines, D. (2010). Being physically active in old age: Relationships with being active earlier in life, social status, and agents of socialization. Ageing and Society, 30, 1097–1113. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X10000358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Notthoff, N., & Carstensen, L. L. (2015). Promoting walking in older adults: Perceived neighborhood walkability influences the effectiveness of motivational messages. Journal of Health Psychology, 1–10. Advance on-line publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105315616470.
- Oliveira, A. J., Lopes, C. S., Ponce de Leon, A. C., Rostila, M., Griep, R. H., Werneck, G. L., & Faerstein, E. (2011). Social support and leisure-time physical activity: Longitudinal evidence from the Brazilian Pro-Saude cohort study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8, 77. Retrieved from http://www.ijbnpa.org/content/8/1/77. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-8-77.
- Pierre, J., Gammage, K. L., Lamarche, L., Adkin, A. L. (2015). “You got a friend in me”: The effects of an exercise intervention on peer and expert social support in older adults. Proceedings of the SCAPPS 2015 annual conference. Journal of Exercise, Movement, and Sport, 47. Abstract retrieved from http://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/jems/article/view/25440
- Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (1998). Successful aging. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
- Van Cauwenberg, J., De Donder, L., Clarys, P., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Buffel, T., De Witte, N., Dury, S., Verte, D., & Deforche, B. (2014). Relationships between the perceived neighborhood social environment and walking for transportation among older adults. Social Science and Medicine, 104, 23–30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.12.016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Whaley, D. E. (2016, Summer). Physical activity for social engagement in older Americans. Elevate Health: A quarterly research digest of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, & Nutrition, 17. http://www.fitness.gov/pdfs/2016-summer_elevate_health.pdf
- Whitbourne, S. K., & Whitbourne, S. B. (2014). Adult development and aging: Biopsychosocial perspectives (5th ed.). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar