Encouraging Exercise in the Elderly

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Stephan Dahl of Hull University, Lynne Eagle of James Cook University, and Mustafa Ebrahimjee of the Leigh Primary Care Centre are looking at new ways to reach out to the over-65 population when it comes to physical activity. We had a chance to speak with Dr. Dahl about the paper, “Golden Moves: Developing a Transtheoretical Model-based Social Marketing Intervention in an Elderly Population.”  Read some of his thoughts below and the full article in Social Marketing Quarterly here.

There are many social marketing activities trying to increase physical activity as a major contributor to overall health and well-being. Surprisingly, only a few of these have targeted specifically people over the age of 65. However, elderly people can benefit enormously from increased physical activity in general, or even by engaging in a structured exercise programme. Yet, elderly are also a specific target group, with quite different assumptions about and different needs in relation to exercise than younger target audiences. The study “Golden Moves: Developing a Transtheoretical Model-based Social Marketing Intervention in an Elderly Population” therefore examined how this particular group can be reached by social marketing – and how and by whom potentially successful messages regarding the benefits of more physical activity can be communicated to be successful. Using a grounded theory approach, and relying on two samples from two different parts of the UK, the paper shows a modeled inteSMq Coverrvention, based on the transtheoretical model of behaviour change, and how this can be put into practice.

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