A CROSS-SECTIONAL ANALYSIS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, PSYCHOLOGICAL DETERMINANTS AND HEALTH RELATED VARIABLES OF LATVIAN OLDER ADULTS
Aivars Kaupuzs Rezekne Academy of Technologies, Latvia
Relevance of the research. The aging of society will bring social and economic implications affecting most nations across Europe and the world. Physical activity (PA) as a low-cost nonpharmacological intervention could be one of the means to prevent frailty and morbidity in older adults. PA both reduces heart disease risk and enhances health related quality of life (HRQOL) that provides “successful aging”. The solution of this problem requires scientific based information about variables that influence a level of physical activity. Information about peopleʼs attitude and believes about physical activities is important for complex problem solving. Only scientifically based data of motivating or impeding factors shows opportunities how to use available resources reasonably. There are still incomplete data of these determinants in Latvia population, particularly in older adults. The object of the research are health related variables of Latvian older adults and the aim is to provide the initial data from older adult population and examines the relationships between self-rated PA, health related subjective and objective variables and psychological determinants derived from the Transtheoretical and Social Cognitive theories.
Research methods and organization. The study population consisted of 359 respondents (63.5 % female and 36.5 % male) aged 60–75 who visited the Heart Health Cabinets across 5 Latvia regions. The mean age was 67.6 ± 5.1 years. For the assessment of the physical activity we used intervieweradministered the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) short version. To measure outcome expectations we asked to complete the Multidimensional Outcome Exercise Expectation Scale (MOEES). To detect the involvement in regular PA we used Exercise Stages of Change (ESC) – short form. As subjective measure of health status it was used The Short Form Health Survey (SF-36v2). For the measuring of subjective health determinants we used the Heart Health Cabinet cardiovascular risk factors assessment data aggregated as SCORE index.
Results and discussion. The results of the study shows that 20.6 % of the respondents have “low” PA level, 30.4 % are “moderately” and 49.0 % are “highly” physically active. Nevertheless, only 19.7 % exercise regularly more than 6 months and 49.9 % do not even plan to engage regular activities in the next 6 months. MOEES data shows that outcome expectations decrease with age the same as PA. At the age group 60–65 MOESS mean result is a 3.5 ± 0.69 point of Likert scale and at the age group 70–75 it is only 2.9 ± 0.96 point. These results reflected on subjective health assessment, because more than half of respondents are rated below the General Population Norm of SF-36v2 survey. Moreover, poor adherence to exercise is closely related to higher cardiovascular illness risk. Although within the study a sufficient level of physical activity was identified among almost a half of the respondents, health-enhancing activities were regularly performed only by every fourth respondent. It is reflected in the main health indicators, which are evaluated as being below the norm. It is traced that people having a lower level of activity have the worst objective and subjective health parameters. This study revealed a tendency that along with years physical activity and confidence about its possible benefits reduce. The obtained results let conclude that in the age group from 60 to 75 years confidence about possible benefits of doing exercises is reflected in daily activity and self-evaluation of life quality.
Conclusions. At this study we established statistically significant relationship between PA and subjective and objective health variables. Adherence to regular PA is related to outcome expectations although it mutually decreases with age. This research has provided important background for effective intervention program development based on increasing of confidence thereby help to move people through the stage of change.