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The role of perceived barriers and objectively measured physical activity in adults aged 65-100

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul Gellert, Professor Miles WithamORCiD, Professor Falko Sniehotta


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Objective: to test the predictive utility of perceived barriers to objectively measured physical activity levels in a stratified sample of older adults when accounting for social-cognitive determinants proposed by the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), and economic and demographic factors.Methods: data were analysed from the Physical Activity Cohort Scotland survey, a representative and stratified (65-80 and 80+ years; deprived and affluent) sample of 584 community-dwelling older people, resident in Tayside, Scotland. Physical activity was measured objectively by accelerometry.Results: perceived barriers clustered around the areas of poor health, lack of interest, lack of safety and lack of access. Perceived poor health and lack of interest, but not lack of access or concerns about personal safety, predicted physical activity after controlling for demographic, economic and TPB variables.Discussion: perceived person-related barriers (poor health and lack of interest) seem to be more strongly associated with physical activity levels than perceived environmental barriers (safety and access) in a large sample of older adults. Perceived barriers are modifiable and may be a target for future interventions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gellert P, Witham MD, Crombie IK, Donnan PT, McMurdo MET, Sniehotta FF

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Age and Ageing

Year: 2015

Volume: 44

Issue: 3

Pages: 384-390

Print publication date: 01/05/2015

Online publication date: 17/02/2015

Acceptance date: 21/11/2014

ISSN (print): 0002-0729

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2834

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afv001


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Funder referenceFunder name
British Heart Foundation
Cancer Research UK
Economic and Social Research Council
Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, a UKCRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence
Medical Research Council
National Institute for Health Research of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration
University of Dundee
CZH/4/518Scottish Executive grant