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Entry correlates and motivations of older adults participating in organized exercise programs

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Author: Stiggelbout, M. · Hopman-Rock, M. · Mechelen, W. van
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 3, 16, 342-354
Identifier: 240908
Keywords: Health · Aging · Health behavior · Health promotion · Physical activity · adult · aged · aging · article · correlation analysis · exercise · female · health behavior · health promotion · human · major clinical study · male · motivation · physical activity · Aged · Analysis of Variance · Exercise · Female · Humans · Life Style · Male · Middle Aged · Motivation · Netherlands · Sports · Healthy for Life · Healthy Living


This study reports entry correlates and motivations of older adults participating in organized exercise programs in the Netherlands, as determined in a descriptive explorative study (N = 2,350, response rate 86%). Participants were community-dwelling older adults (50+ years) who enrolled and started in 10 different exercise programs. Entiy features were analyzed for differences in age, sex, marital status, education, living situation, body-mass index, lifestyle, and health status. Motivations for entering an exercise program were detemiined using homogeneity analyses. More Exercise for Seniors (MBvO) attracted relatively older seniors, whereas organized sports mainly attracted younger ones. Walking, MBvO, and gymnastics attracted more women, whereas skating and table tennis were reported to attract more male participants. Badminton and cycling attracted relatively higher educated participants, whereas MBvO attracted relatively lower educated participants. Three distinct motivational constructs were found: relax and enjoy, care and cure, and competition. Public health and recruitment implications of these findings are discussed. © 2008 Human Kinetics, Inc.