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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 187–193 | Cite as

Exercise and Nutrition in Older Canadian Women

Opportunities for Community Intervention
  • Cara Tannenbaum
  • Bryna Shatenstein
Article

Abstract

Background

The objectives of this study were to examine age differences in the extent to which older Canadian women exercise and eat nutritiously, and to identify the interventions they desire to help them adopt and maintain physical and nutritional fitness.

Methods

A cross-sectional postal survey of 5,000 community-dwelling women aged 55–95 was conducted across Canada in October 2003. The survey queried exercise frequency, nutritional risk, functional status, and factors deemed facilitative to adopting and maintaining a physically fit and nutritiously healthy lifestyle.

Results

Data from 2,484 women were available for analysis; 31% were 75 years and older. Among women aged 55–74 versus those over age 75, 62% compared to 56% reported exercising 3 times/week for 20 minutes or longer (p=0.003), 33% in both age groups were eating nutritiously, and 24% compared to 21% were both exercising and eating nutritiously. Thirty-five percent of women aged 55–74 who were not exercising or eating nutritiously desired increased availability of low-cost, suitable health promotion programs and additional written materials to improve these health habits, compared to 25% of women in the 75 year and older group (p<0.001). Improved transportation to programs was the only intervention preferred by women aged 75 years and older (OR 1.66 (1.30–2.11)). Sedentary women and those at higher nutritional risk were two to three times more likely to identify encouragement from health professionals (OR 1.93 (1.48–2.52)), as well as from family and friends (OR 3.03 (1.89–4.85)) as important facilitators.

Interpretation

Women aged 55–74 who do not exercise and eat nutritiously are most receptive to a variety of health-promoting community interventions.

MeSH terms

Aging women exercise nutrition life style intervention 

Résumé

Introduction

Cette étude, menée auprès de Canadiennes âgées, visait à examiner les différences liées à l’âge dans le niveau d’activité physique et les habitudes alimentaires et à répertorier les interventions préférées par ces femmes, afin de les aider à adopter et à conserver un bon régime d’exercice et d’alimentation.

Méthode

Une enquête postale transversale a été menée en octobre 2003 auprès de 5 000 femmes de 55 à 95 ans résidant dans la communauté un peu partout au Canada. Les questions de l’enquête portaient sur la fréquence de l’activité physique, le risque nutritionnel, l’état fonctionnel et les facteurs facilitant l’adoption et le maintien de bonnes habitudes de vie en matière d’activité physique et d’alimentation.

Résultats

L’analyse a porté sur des données provenant de 2 484 femmes; 31 % avaient 75 ans et plus. Chez les femmes de 55 à 74 ans, 62 % ont indiqué qu’elles pratiquaient une activité physique trois fois par semaine pendant 20 minutes ou plus (p=0,003), contre 56 % des femmes de 75 ans et plus. Dans les deux groupes d’âge, 33 % avaient une alimentation adéquate. La proportion des femmes qui faisaient de l’exercice et s’alimentaient bien était de 24 % chez les 55 à 74 ans et de 21 % chez les 75 ans et plus. Trente-cinq p. cent des femmes de 55 à 74 ans et 25 % des femmes de 75 ans et plus (p<0,001) qui ne faisaient pas d’exercice ou qui ne mangeaient pas bien ont exprimé le souhait d’avoir un meilleur accès à des programmes de promotion de la santé accessibles et économiques, de même qu’à des informations écrites, pour leur permettre d’améliorer leurs habitudes de santé. Chez les participantes de 75 ans et plus, la seule intervention souhaitée était d’avoir accès à des transports améliorés (RC=1,66 [1,30–2,11]). Les sédentaires et les femmes présentant un risque nutritionnel élevé étaient de deux à trois fois plus susceptibles de mentionner l’encouragement des professionnels de la santé (RC=1,93 [1,48–2,52]) et l’encouragement de la famille et des amis (RC=3,03 [1,89-4,85]) comme étant des facteurs importants d’une amélioration de leurs habitudes de vie.

Interprétation

Les femmes de 55 à 74 ans qui sont sédentaires et dont l’alimentation est sousoptimale sont plus ouvertes à un éventail d’interventions communautaires de promotion de la santé.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre de Recherche, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de MontréalUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada

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