Physical Activity and Health Outcomes: A Systematic and Methodological Review

Date created: 
2014-04-22
Identifier: 
etd8263
Keywords: 
Physical activity
Leisure-time physical activity
Exercise
Older adults
Abstract: 

It is understood that regular physical activity (PA) plays a critical role in improving and maintaining a person’s health and well-being, especially as one grows older. Such benefits include preventing or controlling obesity, arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease including stroke, depression, cognitive disorders, certain cancers, and improving strength, flexibility and function. Regular PA can also stave off premature mortality. Despite these benefits of PA, older adults are becoming less active as they age. This capstone addresses two objectives: 1) to systematically and methodologically review and analyze cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between PA and health outcomes from the older adult general population living in the community or in institutional care aged 50 years and older and 2) to compare the results cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Results indicated that both cross-sectionally and longitudinally there were weak to moderate associations between PA and health outcomes such as emotional well-being, cognitive function, physical function, mortality, depression, chronic disease, quality of life and successful aging. Demonstrating a positive association between PA and health outcomes among older adults could have considerable public health implications in designing interventions to promote participation in PA.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author. The author granted permission for the file to be printed and for the text to be copied and pasted.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Andrew Wister
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.
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