Enabling and disabling behaviors in the social environment are associated with physical Activity of older people in the Netherlands



Abstract Background Although research clearly shows that physical activity has significant health benefits and contributes to the prevention of chronic disease onset, the vast majority of the world’s population is insufficiently physically active, and the prevalence of insufficient physical activity is greatest in the population of older adults. The social environment may play an important role in shaping health behaviors, we however, lack knowledge regarding the exact influence of the social environment on older persons’ physical activity levels. This research therefore aims to identify the relationships of physical activity to enabling and disabling behaviors in the social environment among older people in the Netherlands. Methods Participants were randomly sampled from the Rotterdam municipality register and stratified by age group (70–74, 75–79, 80–84, and ≥ 85 years) and neighborhood (district). Of 2798 respondents, 1280 (46%) returned filled-in questionnaires. The Perceived Social Influence on Health Behavior (PSI-HB) instrument was used to assess the degree to which individuals’ health behavior is influenced by those around them. Respondents were additionally asked about enabling and disabling behaviors in their social environments and how many days per week they were physically active. Physical activity scores ranged from 0 (not being physically active for 30 min a day at all during the week) to 7 (being physically active every day of the week). Respondents with a score of ≥5 were considered to be physically active and those with a score of
Date made available2019

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