Barriers and motivations to exercise in older adults

Prev Med. 2004 Nov;39(5):1056-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.04.003.


Although exercise is an established component in the management of many chronic diseases associated with aging, activity levels tend to progressively decline with increasing age. Given the growing proportion of older adults, these suboptimal levels of physical activity represent an increasing public health problem. The predicators of adherence elucidated in younger adults are unreliable in elderly populations. Age-specific barriers and motivators unique to this cohort are relevant and must be acknowledged. The identification of reliable predictors of exercise adherence will allow healthcare providers to effectively intervene and change patterns of physical activity in sedentary elderly. In particular, because older patients respect their physician's advice and have regular contact with their family doctor, physicians can play a key and pivotal role in the initiation and maintenance of exercise behavior among the older population.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Environment
  • Exercise*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Motivation
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Self Efficacy