Advertisement

The Role of Sport in Promoting Physical Activity Among Older People

  • Rachael C. Stone
  • Rylee A. Dionigi
  • Joseph Baker
Chapter

Abstract

Given the global shift in age demographics in conjunction with an emphasis on facilitating healthy ageing, there is increased promotion and opportunity for physical activity participation in later life. This chapter focuses on older adults who compete in sport (i.e., masters athletes) and how they can help us understand the ageing process. While masters athletes may challenge traditionally negative views of ageing, the value and implications of sport participation for older persons are heavily nuanced.

References

  1. Baker, J., Côté, J., & Deakin, J. (2006). Patterns of early involvement in expert and non-expert masters triathletes. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 77, 413–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baker, J., Meisner, B. A., Logan, A. J., Kungl, A., & Weir, P. (2009). Physical activity and successful aging in Canadian older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 17, 223–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baker, J., Fraser-Thomas, J., Dionigi, R., & Horton, S. (2010). Sport participation and positive development in older persons. European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 7, 3–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baltes, P. B., & Baltes, M. (1990). Psychological perspectives on successful aging: The model of selective optimisation with compensation. In P. B. Baltes & M. M. Baltes (Eds.), Successful aging: Perspectives from the behavioural sciences (pp. 1–36). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid modernity. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  6. Benson, P. L. (1997). All kids are our kids: What communities must do to raise caring and responsible children and adolescents. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Higher & Adult Education.Google Scholar
  7. Bodner, E. (2009). On the origins of ageism among older and younger adults. International Psychogeriatrics, 21(6), 1003–1014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bohm, P., Schneider, G., Linneweber, L., Rentzsch, A., Krämer, N., Abdul-Khaliq, H., et al. (2016). Right and left ventricular function and mass in male elite master athletes: A controlled contrast enhanced CMR study. Circulation, 133(20), 1927–1935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Breuer, C., Hallmann, K., & Wicker, P. (2011). Determinants of sport participation in different sports. Managing Leisure, 16(4), 269–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Canadian Heritage. (2013). Sport participation 2010. Her majesty the queen in right of Canada. Catalogue No. CH24-1/2012E-PDF. isbn:978-1-100-21561-7.Google Scholar
  11. Cardenas, D., Henderson, K. A., & Wilson, B. E. (2009). Physical activity and senior games participation: Benefits, constraints, and behaviors. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 17(2), 135–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Caspersen, C. J., Powell, K. E., & Christenson, G. M. (1985). Physical activity, exercise, and physical fitness: Definitions and distinctions for health-related research. Public Health Reports, 100(2), 126–131.Google Scholar
  13. Catalano, R. F., Berglund, M. L., Ryan, J. A. M., Lonczak, H. S., & Hawkins, J. D. (2004). Positive youth development in the United States: Research findings on evaluations of positive youth development programs. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591(1), 98–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Concannon, L. G., Grierson, M. J., & Harrast, M. A. (2012). Exercise in the older adult: From the sedentary elderly to the masters athlete. PM & R, 4(11), 833–839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cosgrove, C., & Sun, B. (2009, January). Age-friendly initiatives: Breaking down barriers offers benefits for all. Active Living: Newsletters, N6–N7.Google Scholar
  16. Degens, H., Maden-Wilkinson, T. M., Ireland, A., Korhonen, M. T., Suominen, H., Heinonen, A., et al. (2013a). Relationship between ventilatory function and age in master athletes and a sedentary reference population. Age, 35(3), 1007–1015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Degens, H., Rittweger, J., Parviainen, T., Timonen, K. L., Suominen, H., Heinonen, A., & Korhonen, M. T. (2013b). Diffusion capacity of the lung in young and old endurance athletes. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 34(12), 1051–1057.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dillaway, H. E., & Byrnes, M. (2009). Reconsidering successful aging: A call for renewed and expanded academic critiques and conceptualizations. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 28, 702–722. https://doi.org/10.1177/0733464809333882.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dionigi, R. A. (2002). Resistance and empowerment through leisure: The meaning of competitive sport participation to older adults. Society & Leisure, 25(2), 303–328.Google Scholar
  20. Dionigi, R. A. (2005). A leisure pursuit that ‘goes against the grain’: Older people and competitive sport. Annals of Leisure Research, 8(1), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dionigi, R. A. (2006). Competitive sport as leisure in later life: Negotiations, discourse, and aging. Leisure Sciences, 28(2), 181–196. https://doi.org/10.1080/01490400500484081.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dionigi, R. A. (2007). Resistance training and older adults’ beliefs about psychological benefits: The importance of self-efficacy and social interaction. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 29(6), 723–746.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dionigi, R. A. (2008). Competing for life: Older people, sport and ageing. Saarbrücken: Verlag Dr. Müller.Google Scholar
  24. Dionigi, R. A. (2010). Masters sport as a strategy for managing the aging process. In J. Baker, S. Horton, & P. Weir (Eds.), The Masters athlete: Understanding the role of sport and exercise in optimizing aging (pp. 137–155). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Dionigi, R. A. (2015). Pathways to masters sport: Sharing stories from sport ‘continuers’, ‘rekindlers’ and ‘late bloomers’. In E. Tulle & C. Phoenix (Eds.), Physical activity and sport in later life: Critical approaches (pp. 54–68). London: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dionigi, R. A. (2016). The competitive older athlete: A review of psychosocial and sociological issues. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, 32(1), 55–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Dionigi, R. A. (2017). Leisure and recreation in the lives of older people. In M. Bernoth & D. Winkler (Eds.), Healthy ageing and aged care (pp. 204–220). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Dionigi, R. A., & Horton, S. (2012). The influence of leisure on discourses of aging. In H. J. Gison & J. F. Singleton (Eds.), Leisure and aging: Theory and practice (pp. 27–39). Champaign: Human Kinetics.Google Scholar
  29. Dionigi, R. A., & O’Flynn, G. (2007). Performance discourses and old age: What does it mean to be an older athlete? Sociology of Sport Journal, 24, 359–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Dionigi, R. A., Horton, S., & Baker, J. (2010). Seniors in sport: The experiences and practices of older World Masters Games competitors. International Journal of Sport and Society, 1, 55–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Dionigi, R. A., Baker, J., & Horton, S. (2011). Older athletes’ perceived benefits of competition. The International Journal of Sport and Society, 2(2), 17–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Dionigi, R. A., Horton, S., & Baker, J. (2013a). Negotiations of the ageing process: Older adults’ stories of sports participation. Sport, Education and Society, 18(3), 370–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Dionigi, R. A., Horton, S., & Baker, J. (2013b). How do older masters athletes account for their performance preservation? A qualitative analysis. Ageing & Society, 33(2), 297–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Dionigi, R. A., Gard, M., Horton, S., Baker, J., & Weir, P. (2016). Sport, ageing, and the physical activity spectrum: Implications for policy. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 24, S49.Google Scholar
  35. Dogra, S., & Mccracken, H. (2016). Self-reported sedentary time among masters and recreational athletes aged 55 years and older. Journal of Exercise, Movement, and Sport, 48(1), 161.Google Scholar
  36. Eime, R. M., Young, J. A., Harvey, J. T., Charity, M. J., & Payne, W. R. (2013). A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for adults: Informing development of a conceptual model of health through sport. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10, 135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. El-Bakri, R., Stone, R. C., Patelia, S., & Baker, J. (2017). Is participation in competitive sport during older adulthood associated with greater life satisfaction? Manuscript under review.Google Scholar
  38. Eman, J. (2012). The role of sports in making sense of the process of growing old. Journal of Aging Studies, 26(4), 467–475. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2012.06.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Fraser-Thomas, J. L., Côté, J., & Deakin, J. (2005). Youth sport programs: An avenue to foster positive youth development. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 10(1), 19–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Gard, M., & Dionigi, R. A. (2016). The world turned upside down: Sport, policy and ageing. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 8, 737–743.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Gard, M., Dionigi, R. A., Horton, S., Baker, J., Weir, P., & Dionigi, C. (2017). The normalisation of sport for older people? Annals of Leisure Research, 20, 253–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Gayman, A. M., Fraser-Thomas, J., Dionigi, R. A., Horton, S., & Baker, J. (2017a). Is sport good for older adults? A systematic review of psychosocial outcomes of older adults’ sport participation. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 10(1), 164–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Gayman, A. M., Fraser-Thomas, J., Spinney, J. E. L., Stone, R. C., & Baker, J. (2017b). Leisure-time physical activity and sedentary behaviour in older people: The influence of sport involvement on behaviour patterns in later life. AIMS Public Health, 4(2), 171–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Geard, D., Reaburn, P., Rebar, A., & Dionigi, R. A. (2017). Masters athletes: Exemplars of successful aging? Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 25, 490–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Grant, B. C. (2002). Physical activity: Not a popular leisure choice in later life. Society and Leisure, 25(2), 285–302.Google Scholar
  46. Grant, B. C., & O’Brien Cousins, S. (2001). Ageing and physical activity: The promise of qualitative research. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 9(3), 237–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Hawkins, S. A., Wiswell, R. A., & Marcell, T. J. (2003). Exercise and the master athlete—A model of successful aging? Journal of Gerontology A: Biological Science and Medical Science, 58(11), M1009–M1011. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/58.11.M1009.Google Scholar
  48. Heo, J., Culp, B., Yamada, N., & Won, Y. (2013). Promoting successful aging through competitive sports participation: Insights from older adults. Qualitative Health Research, 23(1), 105–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Horton, R., & Mack, D. (2000). Athletic identity in marathon runners: Functional focus or dysfunctional commitment? Journal of Sport Behavior, 23(2), 101.Google Scholar
  50. International Masters Games Association. (2016). Retrieved January 22, 2017, from https://imga.ch/en/data/24
  51. Jenkin, C., Eime, R. M., Westerbeek, H., O’Sullivan, G., & van Uffelen, J. G. Z. (2016). Are they ‘worth their weight in gold’? Sport for older adults: Benefits and barriers of their participation for sporting organisations. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 8(4), 663–680. https://doi.org/10.1080/19406940.2016.1220410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. King, A. C., & King, D. K. (2010). Physical activity for an aging population. Public Health Reviews (2107–6952), 32(2), 401–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Kolt, G. S., Driver, R. P., & Giles, L. C. (2004). Why older Australians participate in exercise and sport. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 12(2), 185–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Leach, S. J., & Ruckert, E. A. (2016). Neurologic changes with aging, physical activity, and sport participation. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, 32(1), 24–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lee, I. M., Shiroma, E. J., Lobelo, F., Puska, P., Blair, S. N., & Katzmarzyk, P. T. (2012). Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: An analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy. Lancet, 13(9838), 219–229. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61031-9. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lobjois, R., Benguigui, N., & Bertsch, J. (2006). The effect of aging and tennis playing on coincidence-timing accuracy. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 14, 74–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Lobjois, R., Benguigui, N., Bertsch, J., & Broderick, M. P. (2008). Collision avoidance behavior as a function of aging and tennis playing. Experimental Brain Research, 184, 457–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Longman, J. (2016). 85-year-old marathoner is so fast that even scientists marvel. Retrieved January 23, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/28/sports/ed-whitlock-marathon-running.html?_r=0
  59. Lyons, K., & Dionigi, R. A. (2007). Transcending emotional community: A qualitative examination of older adults and masters’ sports participation. Leisure Sciences, 29(4), 375–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Menec, V. H. (2003). The relation between everyday activities and successful aging: A 6-year longitudinal study. The Journal of Gerontology B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences, 58(2), S74–S82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Montepare, J. M., & Zebrowitz, L. A. (2002). A social-developmental view of ageism. In T. D. Nelson (Ed.), Ageism: Stereotyping and prejudice against older persons (pp. 77–125). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  62. Peel, N. M., McClure, R. J., & Bartlett, H. P. (2005). Behavioral determinants of healthy aging. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28, 298–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Ransdell, L. B., Vener, J., & Huberty, J. (2009). Masters athletes: An analysis of running, swimming and cycling performance by age and gender. Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness, 7(2), S61–S73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Rathwell, S., Callary, B., & Young, B. W. (2015). Exploring the context of coached masters swim programs: A narrative approach. International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education, 9(1), 70–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Reaburn, P., & Dascombe, B. (2008). Endurance performance in masters athletes. European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 5(1), 31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Reed, C. E., & Cox, R. H. (2007). Motives and regulatory style underlying senior athletes’ participation in sport. Journal of Sport Behavior, 30, 307–329.Google Scholar
  67. Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (1987). Human aging: Usual and successful. Science, 237, 143–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Rubinstein, R. L., & de Medeiros, K. (2015). Successful aging. Gerontological theory and neoliberalism: A qualitative critique. The Gerontologist, 55, 34–42. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnu080.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sarkisian, C. A., Hays, R. D., Berry, S. H., & Mangione, C. M. (2001). Expectations regarding aging among older adults and physicians who care for older adults. Medical Care, 39, 1025–1036.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Scanlan, T. K., Russell, D. G., Beals, K. P., & Scanlan, L. A. (2003). Project on elite athlete commitment (PEAK): II. A direct test and expansion of the sport commitment model with elite amateur sportsmen. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 25, 377–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Seeman, T. E., Charpentier, P. A., Berkman, L. F., Tinetti, M. E., Guralnik, J. M., Albert, M., Blazer, D., & Rowe, J. W. (1994). Predicting changes in physical performance in a high-functioning elderly cohort: MacArthur studies of successful aging. Journal of Gerontology, 49, M97–M108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Seeman, T. E., Berkman, L. F., Charpentier, P. A., Blazer, D. G., Albert, M. S., & Tinetti, M. E. (1995). Behavioral and psychosocial predictors of physical performance: MacArthur studies of successful aging. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 50, M177–M183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Slade, J. M., Miszko, T. A., Laity, J. H., Agrawal, S. K., & Cress, M. E. (2002). Anaerobic power and physical function in strength-trained and non-strength-trained older adults. Journal of Gerontology & Medical Science, 57A, M168–M172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Sneed, J. R., & Krauss Whitbourne, S. (2005). Models of the aging self. Journal of Social Issues, 61, 375–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Steinmo, S., Hagger-Johnson, G., & Shahab, L. (2014). Bidirectional association between mental health and physical activity in older adults: Whitehall II prospective cohort study. Preventive Medicine, 66, 74–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Stenner, B. J., Mosewich, A. D., & Buckley, J. D. (2016). An exploratory investigation into the reasons why older people play golf. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 8(3), 257–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Stone, R. C., Meisner, B. A., & Baker, J. (2012). Mood disorders among older adults participating in individual and group active environments: “Me” versus “Us,” or both? Journal of Aging Research. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/727983.
  78. Strawbridge, W. J., Wallhagen, M. I., & Cohen, R. D. (2002). Successful aging and well-being: Self-rated compared with Rowe and Kahn. The Gerontologist, 42, 727–733.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Tanaka, H., & Seals, D. R. (2008). Endurance exercise performance in masters athletes: Age-associated changes and underlying physiological mechanisms. The Journal of Physiology, 586(1), 55–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Taylor, D. (2014). Physical activity is medicine for older adults. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 90(1059), 26–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Tseng, B. Y., Uh, J., Rossetti, H. C., Cullum, C. M., Diaz-Arrastia, R. F., Levine, B. D., et al. (2013). Masters athletes exhibit larger regional brain volume and better cognitive performance than sedentary older adults. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 38(5), 1169–1176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Tulle, E. (2007). Running to run: Embodiment, structure and agency amongst veteran elite runners. Sociology, 41(2), 329–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Ungerleider, S., Golding, J. M., & Porter, K. (1989). Mood profiles of masters track and field athletes. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 68(2), 607–617.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. United Nations. (2013). World population ageing 2013. Department of Economic & social affairs – Population division. Retrieved January 23, 2017, from http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/ageing/WorldPopulationAgeing2013.pdf
  85. van Tuyckom, C., & Scheerder, J. (2008). “Sport for all?” Social stratification of recreational sport activities in the EU-27. Kinesiologia Slovenica, 14(2), 54–63.Google Scholar
  86. van Tuyckom, C., Scheerder, J., & Bracke, P. (2010). Gender and age inequalities in regular sports participation: A cross-national study of 25 European countries. Journal of Sports Sciences, 28(10), 1077–1084.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Velez, N. F., Zhang, A., Stone, B., Perera, S., Miller, M., & Greenspan, S. L. (2008). The effect of moderate impact exercise on skeletal integrity in master athletes. Osteoporosis International, 19(10), 1457–1464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Weir, P. L., Kerr, T., Hodges, N. J., McKay, S. M., & Starkes, J. L. (2002). Master swimmers: How are they different from younger elite swimmers? An examination of practice and performance patterns. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 10, 41–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Wilks, D. C., Winwood, K., Gilliver, S. F., Kwiet, A., Chatfield, M., Michaelis, I., et al. (2009). Bone mass and geometry of the tibia and the radius of master sprinters, middle and long distance runners, race-walkers and sedentary control participants: A pQCT study. Bone, 45(1), 91–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Wroblewski, A. P., Amati, F., Smiley, M. A., Goodpaster, B., & Wright, V. (2011). Chronic exercise preserves lean muscle mass in masters athletes. The Physician and Sports Medicine, 39(3), 172–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Young, B. W., Bennett, A., & Séguin, B. (2015). Masters sport perspectives. In M. M. Parent & J. L. Chappelet (Eds.), Routledge handbook of sports event management: A stakeholder approach (pp. 136–162). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  92. Zhao, E., Tranovich, M. J., DeAngelo, R., Kontos, A. P., & Wright, V. J. (2016). Chronic exercise preserves brain function in masters athletes when compared to sedentary counterparts. The Physician and Sports Medicine, 44(1), 8–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachael C. Stone
    • 1
  • Rylee A. Dionigi
    • 2
  • Joseph Baker
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Kinesiology and Health StudiesQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.School of Exercise ScienceCharles Sturt UniversityPort MacquarieAustralia
  3. 3.School of Kinesiology and Health ScienceYork UniversityTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations