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Aging and Physical Activity: A Qualitative Study of Basic Psychological Needs and Motivation in a Blended Home-Based Exercise Program for Older Adults

Abstract

Physical activity can prolong the ability of older adults to live independently at home. A blended intervention was developed to sustain healthy aging. During a clinical trial 133 participants, with an average age of 71 years old, received a tablet and coaching to support them in performing home-based exercises for 6 months. To investigate how the blended intervention influenced exercise motivation, 17 participants were interviewed. Transcripts were analyzed according to the directed content analysis method. The analysis revealed that the intervention supported the autonomy of participants, by letting them set their own personal goals and compile a personalized exercise program. It also supported their feelings of competence, by offering clear instructions, structure, and the ability to track their progress. Finally, some participants valued the emotional support offered by the personal coach, while others preferred combining the home-based exercises with group-based activities with peers to fulfill their relatedness needs.

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Acknowledgments

This work is part of the research projects MOTO-B (funded by NWO, the Dutch Research Council, grant number 023.006.013) and VITAMIN (funded by the AUAS program Urban Vitality). The authors thank the VITAMINE team for developing the blended intervention and Jordy Schouten and Samir van Rijn for their contributions to this study.

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Correspondence to Sumit Mehra .

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Mehra, S., van den Helder, J., Kröse, B.J.A., Engelbert, R.H.H., Weijs, P.J.M., Visser, B. (2020). Aging and Physical Activity: A Qualitative Study of Basic Psychological Needs and Motivation in a Blended Home-Based Exercise Program for Older Adults. In: Ng, B., Ho, G. (eds) Self-Determination Theory and Healthy Aging. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-6968-5_7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-6968-5_7

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Singapore

  • Print ISBN: 978-981-15-6967-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-981-15-6968-5

  • eBook Packages: Social SciencesSocial Sciences (R0)