To profile participants based on reported outdoor physical activity barriers using a data-driven approach, describe the profiles and study their association with unmet physical activity need.
Cross-sectional analyses of 848 community-dwelling men and women aged 75-90 living in Central Finland in 2012. Barriers to outdoor physical activity and unmet physical activity need were enquired with a questionnaire. The latent profiles were identified by profiling participants into latent groups using a mixture modeling technique on the multivariate set of indicators of outdoor physical activity barriers. A path model was used to study the associations of the profiles with unmet physical activity need.
Five barrier profiles were identified. Profile A was characterized with minor barriers, profile B with weather barriers, profile C with health and weather barriers, profile D with barriers concerning insecurity, health and weather; and profile E with mobility and health barriers. The participants in the profiles differed in the proportion of individual and environmental barriers. The risk for unmet physical activity need was highest among people whose severe mobility difficulties restricted their outdoor physical activity.
Outdoor physical activity barriers reflect the imbalance in person-environment fit among older people, manifested as unmet physical activity need.
We examined the association between perceived environmental barriers to outdoor mobility and loneliness among community-dwelling older people. In addition, we studied whether walking difficulties and autonomy in participation outdoors affected this association.
Cross-sectional analyses of face-to-face home interview data with 848 people aged 75-90 years (mean age: 80.1 years; 62% women) gathered within the "Life-Space Mobility in Old Age" (LISPE) project. Self-reports of loneliness, environmental barriers to outdoor mobility, and difficulties in walking 2 km were obtained with structured questionnaires. Autonomy in participation outdoors was assessed with the "Impact on Participation and Autonomy" questionnaire.
Altogether, 28% of participants reported experiencing loneliness sometimes or often. These participants also reported more difficulties in walking 2 km, restricted autonomy in participation outdoors, and more environmental barriers to outdoor mobility than people not experiencing loneliness. Snowy and icy winter conditions (odds ratio: 1.59 [95% confidence interval: 1.15-2.20]), long distances to services (odds ratio: 1.57 [1.00-2.46]), and hills in the nearby environment (odds ratio: 1.49 [1.05-2.12]) significantly increased the odds for loneliness, even after adjustments for walking difficulties, autonomy in participation outdoors, perceived financial situation, living alone, and health. Path modeling revealed that environmental barriers increased loneliness either through direct association or indirectly through restricted autonomy in participation outdoors.
Prospective studies should investigate whether removing environmental barriers to outdoor mobility improves autonomy in participation outdoors and alleviates loneliness among older people.
To examine which individual and environmental factors correlate with unmet physical activity need in old age and predict development of unmet physical activity need (the feeling that one's level of physical activity is inadequate and thus distinct from the recommended amount of physical activity) over a 2-year follow-up.
Observational prospective cohort study and cross-sectional analyses.
Community and research center.
A total of 643 community-living ambulatory people aged 75 to 81 took part in face-to-face interviews and examinations at baseline and 314 at the 2-year follow-up.
Unmet physical activity need and its potential individual and environmental correlates were assessed at baseline. Development of unmet physical activity need was assessed over the 2-year follow-up period.
At baseline, all participants were able to walk at least 500 m outdoors, but 14% perceived unmet physical activity need. Unmet physical activity need was more prevalent in those with musculoskeletal diseases, depressive symptoms, and mobility limitations. Hills in the nearby environment, lack of resting places, and dangerous crossroads correlated with unmet physical activity need at baseline; the association was especially strong in those with walking difficulties. Significant baseline predictors for incident unmet physical activity need (15%) included fear of moving outdoors, hills in the nearby environment, and noisy traffic.
Unmet physical activity need is common in ambulatory community-living older people who have health and mobility problems and report negative environmental features in their neighborhood. Solutions to overcome barriers to physical activity need to be developed to promote equal opportunities for physical activity participation.