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Senior orienteering athletes as a model of healthy aging: a mixed-method approach.

Östlund-Lagerström L, Blomberg K, Algilani S, Schoultz M, Kihlgren A, Brummer RJ, Schoultz I - BMC Geriatr (2015)

Bottom Line: The orienteering athletes enrolled in the study reported a significantly better health compared to the free-living older adults (p <0.0015) on all questionnaires except HADS.In conclusion our results show that senior orienteering may represent an ideal model in studies of healthy aging.Furthermore, our results show that even though the senior orienteering athletes are well aware of the long-term benefits of physical activity and have practiced the sport from a young age, they particularly point out that their engagement in orienteering is driven by short-term values such as enjoyment and passion.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Nutrition and Physical Activity Research Centre, Faculty of Health and Medicine, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, S-701 82, Örebro, Sweden. lina.ostlund-lagerstrom@oru.se.

ABSTRACT

Background: The proportion of individuals reaching an old age is increasing and will, in the near future consume a majority of health care resources. It is therefore essential to facilitate the maintenance of optimal functionality among older adults. By characterizing older individuals experiencing wellbeing, factors important to promote and maintain health through life can be identified. Orienteering is an endurance-running sport involving cross-country navigation, demanding both cognitive and physical skills of its practitioners. In this study we aim to explore a Swedish population of senior orienteering athletes as a potential model of healthy aging.

Methods: We undertook a mixed-method approach using quantitative (i.e. questionnaires) and qualitative (i.e. focus group discussions) methodologies to explore a population of senior orienteering athletes (n = 136, median age = 69 (67-71) years). Quantitative data was collected to evaluate health status, assessing physical activity (Frändin-Grimby activity scale (FGAS)), functional wellbeing (EQ-5D-5 L), gut health (Gastrointestinal symptoms rating scale (GSRS)), anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS)) and overall health (Health index (HI)). The data was further compared to reference values obtained from a free-living Swedish population of older adults. Focus group discussions (FGD) were performed as a complement to the quantitative data to facilitate the individuals' own views on health and physical activity.

Results: The orienteering athletes enrolled in the study reported a significantly better health compared to the free-living older adults (p <0.0015) on all questionnaires except HADS. The high health status displayed in this population was further confirmed by the FGD findings, in which all participants declared their engagement in orienteering as a prerequisite for health.

Conclusions: In conclusion our results show that senior orienteering may represent an ideal model in studies of healthy aging. Furthermore, our results show that even though the senior orienteering athletes are well aware of the long-term benefits of physical activity and have practiced the sport from a young age, they particularly point out that their engagement in orienteering is driven by short-term values such as enjoyment and passion. This may be important to consider when introducing public health interventions among the general older population.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Interview schedule
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Fig3: Interview schedule

Mentions: The method of focus group discussion (FGD) was chosen as it aims to facilitate individuals’ exploration and clarification of their own views through group interaction, in a manner not possible with one-to-one interviews. Each FGD, conducted at Örebro University, Sweden, was led by experienced moderators and followed the guidelines by Barbour & Kitzinger [23]. Thirty-four orienteers expressed their interest in FGD participation and fourteen subjects were able to participate at the assigned date and time. The FGD participants were divided into two focus groups, including 7 female and 7 male orienteers respectively. The recruitment process took place during the fall and winter of 2012/2013. The FGD was semi-structured, including broad questions on the subject of health and physical activity (see interview schedule, Fig. 3). At the beginning of each FGD the moderators emphasized the ethical principal of confidentiality. The role of the moderators was to stimulate the participants to engage in an active discussion and to direct their focus towards the topics of interest. When certain issues were not raised spontaneously, but considered important by the moderators, the moderators initiated discussion on these issues towards the end of the FGD. Each FGD was audio-recorded with the participants’ permission and lasted 60–90 min. All FGDs were transcribed verbatim.Fig. 3


Senior orienteering athletes as a model of healthy aging: a mixed-method approach.

Östlund-Lagerström L, Blomberg K, Algilani S, Schoultz M, Kihlgren A, Brummer RJ, Schoultz I - BMC Geriatr (2015)

Interview schedule
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4495641&req=5

Fig3: Interview schedule
Mentions: The method of focus group discussion (FGD) was chosen as it aims to facilitate individuals’ exploration and clarification of their own views through group interaction, in a manner not possible with one-to-one interviews. Each FGD, conducted at Örebro University, Sweden, was led by experienced moderators and followed the guidelines by Barbour & Kitzinger [23]. Thirty-four orienteers expressed their interest in FGD participation and fourteen subjects were able to participate at the assigned date and time. The FGD participants were divided into two focus groups, including 7 female and 7 male orienteers respectively. The recruitment process took place during the fall and winter of 2012/2013. The FGD was semi-structured, including broad questions on the subject of health and physical activity (see interview schedule, Fig. 3). At the beginning of each FGD the moderators emphasized the ethical principal of confidentiality. The role of the moderators was to stimulate the participants to engage in an active discussion and to direct their focus towards the topics of interest. When certain issues were not raised spontaneously, but considered important by the moderators, the moderators initiated discussion on these issues towards the end of the FGD. Each FGD was audio-recorded with the participants’ permission and lasted 60–90 min. All FGDs were transcribed verbatim.Fig. 3

Bottom Line: The orienteering athletes enrolled in the study reported a significantly better health compared to the free-living older adults (p <0.0015) on all questionnaires except HADS.In conclusion our results show that senior orienteering may represent an ideal model in studies of healthy aging.Furthermore, our results show that even though the senior orienteering athletes are well aware of the long-term benefits of physical activity and have practiced the sport from a young age, they particularly point out that their engagement in orienteering is driven by short-term values such as enjoyment and passion.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Nutrition and Physical Activity Research Centre, Faculty of Health and Medicine, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, S-701 82, Örebro, Sweden. lina.ostlund-lagerstrom@oru.se.

ABSTRACT

Background: The proportion of individuals reaching an old age is increasing and will, in the near future consume a majority of health care resources. It is therefore essential to facilitate the maintenance of optimal functionality among older adults. By characterizing older individuals experiencing wellbeing, factors important to promote and maintain health through life can be identified. Orienteering is an endurance-running sport involving cross-country navigation, demanding both cognitive and physical skills of its practitioners. In this study we aim to explore a Swedish population of senior orienteering athletes as a potential model of healthy aging.

Methods: We undertook a mixed-method approach using quantitative (i.e. questionnaires) and qualitative (i.e. focus group discussions) methodologies to explore a population of senior orienteering athletes (n = 136, median age = 69 (67-71) years). Quantitative data was collected to evaluate health status, assessing physical activity (Frändin-Grimby activity scale (FGAS)), functional wellbeing (EQ-5D-5 L), gut health (Gastrointestinal symptoms rating scale (GSRS)), anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS)) and overall health (Health index (HI)). The data was further compared to reference values obtained from a free-living Swedish population of older adults. Focus group discussions (FGD) were performed as a complement to the quantitative data to facilitate the individuals' own views on health and physical activity.

Results: The orienteering athletes enrolled in the study reported a significantly better health compared to the free-living older adults (p <0.0015) on all questionnaires except HADS. The high health status displayed in this population was further confirmed by the FGD findings, in which all participants declared their engagement in orienteering as a prerequisite for health.

Conclusions: In conclusion our results show that senior orienteering may represent an ideal model in studies of healthy aging. Furthermore, our results show that even though the senior orienteering athletes are well aware of the long-term benefits of physical activity and have practiced the sport from a young age, they particularly point out that their engagement in orienteering is driven by short-term values such as enjoyment and passion. This may be important to consider when introducing public health interventions among the general older population.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus