Thursday, April 23, 2009

Physical Activity Counseling Increases Physical Activity Of Older People

“The research conducted at the Finnish Center for Interdisciplinary Gerontology at the University of Jyvaskyla shows that physical activity counseling has positive effects on the mobility of older people. Individualized physical activity counseling decreased the mobility difficulties experienced by older people living at home, says researcher Minna Mänty. The results are important because mobility problems often decrease the ability of older people to live independently at home. The ability to move inside and outside is one of the most important premises of independent living. The positive effects of physical activity counseling intervention on mobility seem to be explained by the intervention group's increased physical activity, and the positive effects of this activity to the physical fitness of the group. Furthermore, the positive effects are partly explained by mobility problem solving together with a physiotherapist. Physical activity counseling is commendable and an affordable support mechanism to maintain mobility because it supports the independent physical activity of older people, says Mänty. 632 people from the Jyväskylä region ranging 75-81 years of age and living in the city center area independently participated in the study carried out by the Finnish Center for Interdisciplinary Gerontology in cooperation with the City of Jyväskylä. The intervention group (n=318) participated in the individualized physical activity counseling given by a physiotherapist. In addition to this, this group's physical activity was supported with a telephone contact every four months for a two year period.”

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