Baby boomers are a large population rapidly transitioning into older adulthood. As the proportion of older adults will be higher in the coming decade than at any previous point in history, the aging of the population has placed successful aging at the forefront of public health and health care efforts. Baby boomers have disproportionately low rates of successful aging and physical activity, even though physical activity is known to contribute to successful aging. Existing exercise programs are ineffective as evidenced by the widespread access to but poor participation in exercise programs. Archery exercise is a relatively unexplored, yet promising, physical activity intervention for baby boomers. This exploratory and qualitative case study was the first to explore the role of archery exercise in promoting successful aging through physical activity among baby boomers. A purposeful sample of 12 non-institutionalized baby boomers living in a Midwest community were enrolled in a six-week archery exercise program. A total of 8 females and 3 males with varying physical activity levels completed the program. Information from post-program, semi-structured interviews were triangulated with findings from a literature review. Key themes emerging from the interpretive analysis included physical benefits, mental benefits, positive social experience, appropriateness and benefit for older adults, and motivation to continue. Physical benefits included upper body strength, balance, and improvement to individual limitations. Mental benefits included concentration, movement control, confidence, and relief from individual mental challenges. Participants believed archery exercise is appropriate and beneficial for older adults because of the enjoyment, low intensity, rewarding, shareable, individualized, and multiple component aspects. The study demonstrates archery exercise is a promising physical activity intervention for baby boomers in this community. Future research is needed to explore the impact of archery exercise in other communities and among other older adult populations. Awareness about what constitutes physical activity is needed to encourage participation in exercise programs. Collaboration between public health, sporting, and community stakeholders is needed to deliver additional community-based, multiple component exercise programs to baby boomers. Archery exercise may be an effective physical activity intervention to address population aging concerns, although more research is needed to justify this claim.
|Commitee:||Dowd, Ronald, Hughes, Seyra|
|Department:||Nursing and Health Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-B 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Aging, Public health, Epidemiology|
|Keywords:||Archery, Baby boomer, Exercise, Physical activity, Successful aging|
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