Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Marett, James R.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Physical Education


Older people--Health and hygiene--United States; Physician and patient--United States


The objective of this study was to determine whether physicians? recommendations of physical activity, as perceived by their patients, affects the activity level of older adults (> 62 years). A modified Delphi technique was used to ensure validity of the questionnaire, and a pilot study was employed to ensure its reliability. The actual study was completed at a community completely autonomous from the pilot study population. Both the pilot and main study populations were conducted within retirement center communities which consisted of independent, assisted, and personal care levels. Health center residents were excluded from the study. 150 subjects were recruited to complete the actual study questionnaire; their ages ranged from 62 to 100 years, with physical activity levels ranging from sedentary to very active. 109 subjects correctly completed the questionnaire, equivalent to a return rate of 72.6%. The alpha level for all statistical significance was set at 0.05. Fifty-five percent of the subjects had received advice from their physician to become physically active. A positive association was found between the importance of physician advice and whether or not a physician would be consulted prior to participating in a physical activity program recommended by another health professional (H[sub o]: r =0.275; p=0.01). Receiving physician advice was the strongest predictor of physical activity participation (p<0.001); other significant predictors were: (1) educational level ABSTRACT (p<0.003), (2) current age (p<0.013), and (3) attitude toward physical activity (p<0.030). It was concluded that physicians? physical activity recommendations are significant in affecting physical activity levels of older adults. Physicians need to become more involved in prescribing physical activity for older adults as a step toward effective preventive medicine.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [30]-33)


61 pages




Northern Illinois University

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