Physical Activity Programming for Older Adults in Assisted Living: Residents’ Perspectives

Academic Article


  • Decreasing sedentary behavior and increasing light physical activity could promote the maintenance of functional abilities for older adults in assisted living (AL). The purpose of this qualitative study was to gather residents’ recommendations about a proposed self-efficacy enhancing intervention to replace sedentary behavior with light physical activity. We interviewed 20 residents (mean age 83.1; 60% women). Topics included their current activities and thoughts about physical activity. We presented the intervention and asked questions to inform its modification. Data were analyzed with content and thematic analysis. Specific recommendations included shorter one-hour sessions and framing the intervention as increasing light physical activity rather than decreasing sedentary behavior. The thematic analysis identified multiple factors that could influence intervention implementation, including motivation to be active, safety concerns, ageist attitudes about physical activity, varying abilities of residents, social influences, and limited opportunities for physical activity. These results will inform physical activity intervention implementation for AL residents.
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  • Webster KE; Seng JS; Gallagher NA; Gothe NP; Colabianchi N; Smith EML; Ploutz-Snyder R; Larson JL