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      Leisure Engagement: Medical Conditions, Mobility Difficulties, and Activity Limitations—A Later Life Perspective


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          Objectives. This study aims to investigate the impact of medical conditions, mobility difficulties, and activity limitations on older people's engagement in leisure activities. Methods. The analyses are based on a cross regional survey carried out in 2010 in the Bothnia region (Northern Sweden and Western Finland). A posted questionnaire, which included questions on different aspects of leisure engagement, medical history, and health, was sent out to older persons in the region. The final sample consisted of 5435 persons aged 65, 70, 75, and 80 years. The data was analyzed by using ordinary least squares (OLS) multivariate regression. Results. The most important predictor of leisure engagement abstention among older people is the prevalence of activity limitations, whereas mobility difficulties and medical conditions play less important roles. The strong negative association between activity limitations and leisure engagement remains significant even after we control for individual, sociodemographic characteristics, and country. Discussion. This study provides a window into leisure engagement in later life and factors influencing the magnitude of engagement in leisure activities.

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          Most cited references59

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          Environmental factors associated with adults' participation in physical activity: a review.

          N Humpel (2002)
          Promoting physical activity is a public health priority, and changes in the environmental contexts of adults' activity choices are believed to be crucial. However, of the factors associated with physical activity, environmental influences are among the least understood. Using journal scans and computerized literature database searches, we identified 19 quantitative studies that assessed the relationships with physical activity behavior of perceived and objectively determined physical environment attributes. Findings were categorized into those examining five categories: accessibility of facilities, opportunities for activity, weather, safety, and aesthetic attributes. Accessibility, opportunities, and aesthetic attributes had significant associations with physical activity. Weather and safety showed less-strong relationships. Where studies pooled different categories to create composite variables, the associations were less likely to be statistically significant. Physical environment factors have consistent associations with physical activity behavior. Further development of ecologic and environmental models, together with behavior-specific and context-specific measurement strategies, should help in further understanding of these associations. Prospective studies are required to identify possible causal relationships.
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            Risk factors for functional status decline in community-living elderly people: a systematic literature review.

            To lay the groundwork for devising, improving and implementing strategies to prevent or delay the onset of disability in the elderly, we conducted a systematic literature review of longitudinal studies published between 1985 and 1997 that reported statistical associations between individual base-line risk factors and subsequent functional status in community-living older persons. Functional status decline was defined as disability or physical function limitation. We used MEDLINE, PSYCINFO, SOCA, EMBASE, bibliographies and expert consultation to select the articles, 78 of which met the selection criteria. Risk factors were categorized into 14 domains and coded by two independent abstractors. Based on the methodological quality of the statistical analyses between risk factors and functional outcomes (e.g. control for base-line functional status, control for confounding, attrition rate), the strength of evidence was derived for each risk factor. The association of functional decline with medical findings was also analyzed. The highest strength of evidence for an increased risk in functional status decline was found for (alphabetical order) cognitive impairment, depression, disease burden (comorbidity), increased and decreased body mass index, lower extremity functional limitation, low frequency of social contacts, low level of physical activity, no alcohol use compared to moderate use, poor self-perceived health, smoking and vision impairment. The review revealed that some risk factors (e.g. nutrition, physical environment) have been neglected in past research. This review will help investigators set priorities for future research of the Disablement Process, plan health and social services for elderly persons and develop more cost-effective programs for preventing disability among them.
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              The relation between everyday activities and successful aging: a 6-year longitudinal study.

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              Activity has long been thought to be related to successful aging. This study was designed to examine longitudinally the relation between everyday activities and indicators of successful aging, namely well-being, function, and mortality. The study was based on the Aging in Manitoba Study, with activity being measured in 1990 and function, well-being, and mortality assessed in 1996. Well-being was measured in terms of life satisfaction and happiness; function was defined in terms of a composite measure combining physical and cognitive function. Regression analyses indicated that greater overall activity level was related to greater happiness, better function, and reduced mortality. Different activities were related to different outcome measures; but generally, social and productive activities were positively related to happiness, function, and mortality, whereas more solitary activities (e.g., hand-work hobbies) were related only to happiness. These findings highlight the importance of activity in successful aging. The results also suggest that different types of activities may have different benefits. Whereas social and productive activities may afford physical benefits, as reflected in better function and greater longevity, more solitary activities, such as reading, may have more psychological benefits by providing a sense of engagement with life.

                Author and article information

                J Aging Res
                J Aging Res
                Journal of Aging Research
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                5 August 2015
                : 2015
                1Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
                2Umeå University, Ageing and Living Conditions Program, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
                3Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies, Social Policy Unit, Åbo Akademi University, 651 01 Vasa, Finland
                4Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Enrica Menditto

                Copyright © 2015 Ingeborg Nilsson et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Research Article

                Molecular medicine
                Molecular medicine


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