"Multimodal Physical Activity Participation Rates in Middle Aged and Older Adults". Our recent publication in the Irish Medical Journal.

 Mon, 12th Oct, 2020

Hi everyone,

We conducted some interesting research in Laois recently via questionnaire where we asked middle aged and older adults all about (i) the types and amount of physical activity they do, (ii) their barriers (personal, social, environmental) to taking part in physical activity and (iii) programmes/opportunities they would like to see available in Laois. 353 people completed the questionniare.

We were delighted to see this research published in the Irish Medical Journal last week. The title of the research paper is “Multimodal Physical Activity Participation in Middle Aged and Older Adults”. I have included the link to the paper here if you would like to read it.


Key findings include:

➡️ Only 51.6% (N=182) of participants meet the recommendations for aerobic exercise for health.

➡️ Most participants don’t take part in RESISTANCE (14.4%, N=51), flexibility (6.2%, N=22) or balance training(0%).

➡️ This may increase frailty and falls, reduce independent living, well-being and quality of life in later years.

Barriers to participation in physical activity include:

➡️ Pain in joints and muscles (44.9%, N=111)

➡️ Injuries (24.5%, N=78)

➡️ Clinical conditions (12.9%, N=40)

However, it is important to understand that participation in regular multi-modal physical activity can treat and manage many of these issues. This message needs to be communicated to individuals who are affected by these issues and programmes should incorporate support and input from the area of Clinical Exercise Physiology if possible.

In terms of mental health , participants said physical activity:

➡️ Improved their mental health (91.9%, N=217)

➡️ Helps them feel less stressed (9 0%, N=212)

➡️ They enjoy it (90.5%, N=217)

➡️ They want to take part in more physical activity (77.5%, N=248)

Future physical activity programmes for middle aged and older adults must incorporate:

(i) Multi-modal PA.
(ii) Education regarding the amount, type and specific benefits of multi-modal PA for healthy ageing and the treatment and management of injuries & clinical conditions.
(iii) Effective online options due to COVID-19.

What's next:

True Fitness have been commissioned by Laois Sports Partnership to design and deliver a 12 week multi-modal online physical activity research study for middle aged and older adults (50-80 yrs) in Laois. This project is funded by the Sláintecare Integration Fund under grant agreement number 21. We are currently in week 5 of the 12 week programme. The research paper associated with this Sláintecare project will be submitted for publication in January 2021.

Yours in health,

Dr Diane Cooper & The True Fitness Team.