National physical activity recommendations for older Australians: Discussion Document

5. Determinants of physical activity behaviour in older people

The National Ageing Research Institute was commissioned by The Department of Health and Ageing to review the evidence and develop physical activity recommendations for older people.

Page last updated: 01 February 2011

This Chapter considers the determinants of physical activity behaviour in older people from an individual, societal and structural perspective. Older people will decide whether or not to be physically active based upon a range of personally held attitudes and beliefs. These in turn can be influenced by the person’s social environment and the perceptions of society at large. The adoption and maintenance of physical activity is also influenced by the physical (or built) environment that people live in (Giles-Corti, Broomhall et al. 2005). Each of these areas will be considered in turn. The conceptual framework on the following page (Figure 5.1) illustrates the determinants of physical activity in older people operating at these three levels: individual, societal and structural.

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