TitleTheory-based physical activity beliefs by race and activity levels among older adults.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
Authorskosma, M, Cardinal, BJ
JournalEthnicity & health
Date Published2016 Apr

OBJECTIVE: Given the benefits of physical activity and the high proportion of inactivity among older adults, the purpose was to elicit theory-based behavioral, normative, and control physical activity beliefs among 140 educationally and economically diverse older adults and compare their beliefs by race (Blacks vs. Whites) and physical activity levels (inactive/underactive vs. highly active individuals). DESIGN: This was an elicitation study that took place in eight, mostly rural community settings in a Southeastern US state, such as Council of Aging Offices, retirement centers, and churches. Participants' behavioral, normative, and control beliefs were elicited via in person interviews. A valid and reliable questionnaire was also used to assess their physical activity levels. RESULTS: According to the content analysis, inactive/underactive participants reported fewer physical activity advantages than highly active participants. Common physical activity advantages between the two groups were overall health, emotional functioning, and physical functioning. Similar physical activity advantages were reported among Blacks and Whites with overall health being the most important advantage. The most common physical activity disadvantages and barriers for all four groups were falls, injuries, pain, and health issues. Inactive/underactive individuals and Blacks tended to report more disadvantages and barriers than their peers. Common physical activity supporters were family members, friends and peers, and health-care professionals. CONCLUSION: In their physical activity motivational programs, health promoters should reinforce physical activity benefits, social support, access to activity programs, and safety when intervening among older adults.