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Moving together: Increasing physical activity in older adults with an intergenerational technology-based intervention. A feasibility study

Rachel Knight Orcid Logo, Aïna Chalabaev, Kelly Mackintosh Orcid Logo, Melitta McNarry Orcid Logo, Joanne Hudson Orcid Logo

PLOS ONE, Volume: 19, Issue: 3, Start page: e0301279

Swansea University Authors: Rachel Knight Orcid Logo, Kelly Mackintosh Orcid Logo, Melitta McNarry Orcid Logo, Joanne Hudson Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Robust evidence supports the role of physical activity and exercise in increasing longevity, decreasing morbidity and helping older adults maintain the highest quality of life attainable. However, the majority of older adults are not sufficiently physically active and interventions are needed to cha...

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Published in: PLOS ONE
ISSN: 1932-6203
Published: Public Library of Science (PLoS) 2024
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa65846
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Abstract: Robust evidence supports the role of physical activity and exercise in increasing longevity, decreasing morbidity and helping older adults maintain the highest quality of life attainable. However, the majority of older adults are not sufficiently physically active and interventions are needed to change their behaviors. Familial or intergenerational contact has been positively linked to health and well-being in older adults. Therefore, this study aimed to i) establish acceptability and test the functionality and useability of a novel technology-driven intergenerational intervention targeting physical activity and age stereotypes, and ii) identify any potential issues with recruitment and retention. Four familial dyads (adult ≥ 65 and child 7–11 years) engaged with the intervention. Working collaboratively during a four-week trial, they combined daily step-counts (acquired via any activity of their choice, using PA trackers) to complete a virtual walk route using online platform World Walking. Thematic analysis of three post-intervention focus groups (one older adult; one child; one additional parental cohort) identified eight subthemes: Engagement; Provision of a Positive Experience; Participant Stimuli; Generated Outcomes; Operationality; Limitations; Mediators; Facilitators, and Perceptions. Participants enjoyed and successfully engaged with the intervention; when designing behaviour change interventions for older adults, flexibility within pre-established routines, individual choice, and avoiding rigidly imposed structures, is important. Strategies to challenge negative perceptions of older adults’ engagement with technology and PA should be integrated into recruitment processes.
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: Swansea University
Issue: 3
Start Page: e0301279