Active living in retirement village residents: exploring built and social enviromental correlates using mixed methods

Andrea Nathan

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated abstract] INTRODUCTION: Regular physical activity at any age, but particularly in later life, has a wealth of established health benefits. Yet older people remain the least physically active population group. An understanding of built and social environmental correlates can aid in developing effective interventions for increasing physical activity, but must be specific to the context in which older adults live. For some older Australians, retirement village living is a popular housing option. Typically, retirement villages contain independent living units and provide a range of supportive services. It appears that no studies to date have comprehensively examined built and social environments within the village and surrounding neighbourhood, and associations with active living in residents. The overarching aim of this research was to explore active living in the context of Western Australian retirement villages, and further investigate associations with built and social environmental factors. METHODS: The study employed an exploratory sequential mixed methods design, whereby qualitative research findings informed a subsequent quantitative phase. Six focus groups, involving six to ten residents each, were held in purposefully selected retirement villages. Thematic analysis was undertaken to identify residents' interpretation of 'active living' and 'neighbourhood', and describe environmental factors relating to active living. Five data sources were utilised in the quantitative component, the main of which was the comprehensive resident questionnaire, developed based on the qualitative findings, and administered to residents from 32 retirement villages selected from higher and lower walkable neighbourhoods (n=323).
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2012


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