Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Self-perception on physical activity of elderly people

Ilaria Lanzara, Sara Aliberti, Ferdinando Cereda



Problem statement. Ageing consists of gradual deterioration of the organism and concerns changes that occurs over time to detriment of functions and structures at the level of organs, cells and systems, with consequent difficulty in dealing with the multiple environmental factors. Physical activity is the most effective way to counteract a sedentary lifestyle and other risk factors. The aim of the study was to investigate perceptions, knowledge and propensities towards physical activity by people over 50. Methods. The present study was designed to describe the characteristics of people aged between 50 and 80+, residing in the province of Salerno. A survey was prepared with Google Forms and administered to the participants by sharing it on WhatsApp. It is consisting of 12 items and aimed at knowledge and perceptions of the importance of physical activity in relation to the second (last), third and fourth age groups. Descriptive statistics were used to express the participants' responses as a percentage. Chi square or Fisher exact test were used as a statistical tool to analyse perceptions on the physical activity. Results. Most of respondents did not practice physical activity (54.4%) mainly because they did not feel like it (43.2%). About 70.3% of the total would accept a personalized training program based on needs to improve their physical condition (82.2%). No significant associations were found (p > .05). Conclusion. The results of the present study showed us that only half of the elderly were physically active. For this reason, it was necessary to intervene with careful information, work regarding the benefits of sports and encouraging coaches and instructors to propose courses of adapted physical activity.


Old age; Movements; Adapted physical activity; Involution; Maintenance


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