Masters Thesis

The Effects of Knowledge on the Perceptions and Reporting of Physical Activity in Older Adults

Sufficient knowledge of physical activity (PA) is known to improve participation in and perception of one’s own PA levels. The aim of this study was to provide older adults with information about the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines and evaluate the impact on participants’ knowledge of the guidelines and their accuracy in self-reporting their PA. 40 community-dwelling adults aged 65 years and older were randomly assigned into three groups. EXGR1 received education about the PA guidelines and EXGR2 received a modified PAS E as self-reported measure where PA examples were omitted from the text. Objective and self-report PA were measured by triaxial accelerometry and the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE), respectively. in EXGR1, pre- and post-education correlations between total MVPA and total PAS E score found that the provision of information about the PA guidelines did not result in an improved accuracy of self-reported overall PA ( p = .473). No significant differences were found between PASE scores when PA examples were included or excluded in either EXGR2 pre-education (26.67 ± 28.27) and post-education (22.12 ± 2.43) or CON pre-education (11.18 ± 14) and post-education (10.11 ± 11.82) (p > .05). Since the education provided by the government regarding the PA guidelines had minimal effects in the current study, future researchers and professionals should work to increase PA participation and education about the PA guidelines.

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