Ibero-American Journal of Exercise and Sports Psychology

THE SCHEME OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY WITH MIND MAPS IN THE ELDERLY

Abstract

Esther Cabanillas, Patricia Barcina, María José de la Llave, María Laguna y Susana Aznar

Aim: To study the social representation of the physical activity in the elderly. Its interest lies in knowing the social logic thinking processes, its contents and its relation to reality to promote exercise adherence. Method: Cross-sectional design, qualitative study based in social representation theory, scheme theory and socio cognitive theory of planned behaviour. A convenience, non probabilistic sample of 300 elderly people aged between 65 and 88 years old from Toledo city, entered the study. Data was collected using the mental maps technique. Results: There were no differences in mental maps by gender. The analyses of mental maps brought up four categories: A) biophysical dimension, b) psychological dimension, c) social dimension and d) affective dimension. Health was the item most reported. Physical activity seemed to be more related to quality of life and wellness by the majority of older adults. Conclusion: The positive association between physical activity, health, wellbeing and social interaction was not only represented by the subjects as a physical aspect but general personal stability. The social representation of physical activity by the group being studied was close to the physical activity's bio-psychosocial dimension. These results are very important for exercise adherence strategies.

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