Determinants of Meeting the Public Health Recommendations for Physical Activity Among Community-Dwelling Elderly Japanese
Background: Although regular physical activity can facilitate healthy aging, improve functional capacity, and prevent chronic diseases in the elderly, many of the Japanese elderly are not sufficiently active. Thus, examining the determinants is an important prerequisite for designing effective programs. The present study investigated the demographic, behavioral, psychosocial, and environmental determinants of meeting the national pedometer-determined physical activity recommendations for the elderly Japanese. Method: Data were analyzed for 137 community-dwelling elderly Japanese aged 70 to 89 years (47% male, mean age = 74.5 years), who completed a questionnaire and wore a pedometer. Demographic (gender, age, marital status), behavioral (BMI, smoking, alcohol consumption), psychosocial (self-efficacy, social support, health professional advice), and environmental (perceived neighborhood environment) variables were self-reported. Averaged daily steps were obtained using 1-year pedometer measurements. Based on the national physical activity recommendations in Japan (males: 6700 steps; females: 5900 steps), the participants were divided into two categories — sufficiently active and insufficiently active. An adjusted logistic regression model was utilized. Results: Totally, 47.4% of the participants (males: 51.5%; females: 43.8%) met the national recommendations. When adjusting for all other variables, a higher self-efficacy for exercise (AOR = 1.16; 95% CI: 1.04-1.28) and positive perception of the neighborhood environment (AOR = 1.43; 95% CI: 1.03-1.98) significantly influenced the meeting of the national recommendations. Conclusions: The findings clarified the need to identify effective intervention strategies to promote physical activity and suggest that an intervention design that accounts for these determinants may more effectively promote physical activity among the elderly Japanese.
Keywords: Determinants, elderly, objectively measured physical activity, perceived neighborhood environment, public health, Pedometer, Ecological Model, Longevity, Behavioral Change, Step Counts, Behavioral Epidemiology, Social Support, Self-Efficacy, Correlates, Older Adults
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