2016, Volume 8, Issue 4
Perceptive ability of female students of the University of the Third Age and its links with physical fitness and mood
Joanna Piotrowska1, Monika Guszkowska 2, Ewa Kozdroń1, Ewa Niedzielska1, Anna Leś3, Bartłomiej Krynicki1
1Department of Recreation Methodology, Faculty of Tourism and Recreation, Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education
2Department of Psychosocial Foundations of Health and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Rehabilitation, Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education
3Department of Recreation, Institute of Theory of Recreation, Faculty of Tourism and Recreation, Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education
Author for correspondence: Joanna Piotrowska; Department of Recreation Methodology, Faculty of Tourism and Recreation, Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education; email: joanna_piotrowska[at]onet.eu
Background: The aim of the study was to determine the speed and failures of perception and attention among female students of the University of the Third Age (U3A) and their links with physical fitness and mood.
Material/Methods: The study involved 114 women aged between 50 and 88 years old (M = 68.17) participating in U3A lectures at the University of Physical Education in Warsaw. Perception ability was investigated using Ciechanowicz and Stańczak’s Attention and Perception Test. Physical fitness was assessed with the Fullerton Fitness Test and the Romberg manoeuvre to evaluate the ability to maintain balance. The participants were also assessed with the Matthews, Chamberlain and Jones UWIST Mood Adjective Checklist (UMACL) and the Yesavage Geriatric Depression Scale.
Results: Compared with standard values for adults, the subjects had average perception, slightly slower perception speed and lower failures of attention. The perception speed was negatively correlated with the age and the education level, and positively correlated with static balance and lower body strength. Perception failures were positively correlated with age and negatively with the education level and energy levels at the time of the study. No significant correlation was found between attention and age and the education level, physical fitness and mood at the time of the study; none of the indicators of perception ability were correlated with mood and depression indicators during the previous two weeks.
Conclusions: Regular physical exercise in elderly people can be used to maintain physical fitness and perception ability.
Key words: elderly people, functional ability, cognitive ability