2017, Volume 9, Issue 4
Physical activity levels of rural and urban seniors in the region of Warmia and Mazury in Poland
Aneta Omelan1, Robert Podstawski2, Bogdan Wziątek3, Rafael Merino-Marbán4, Oscar Romero-Ramos4
1Department of Tourism, Recreation and Ecology, Faculty of Environmental Sciences , University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
2Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
3Department of Fish Biology and Pisciculture, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
4Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Malaga
Author for correspondence: Robert Podstawski; Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn; email: podstawskirobert[at]gmail.com
A sedentary lifestyle may lead to infirmity or disability. This study was undertaken to evaluate the physical activity (PA) levels of rural and urban seniors (60+) in Poland.
The study was conducted on 274 seniors (60+, 146 urban dwellers, 128 rural dwellers). An interview questionnaire was used to collect data. The results were analyzed statistically using descriptive statistics, and a significance test was applied to determine differences between the two subpopulations (α = 0.05).
Urban seniors had significantly (p = 0.0007) higher PA levels than rural seniors. The majority of physically active seniors did not meet the World Health Organization’s recommendations on physical activity. In both groups, the most popular type of PA was walking. A large percentage of the rural population preferred dancing, whereas cycling was more popular among urban respondents (for both p = 0.0001). The majority of urban and rural respondents evaluated their physical fitness (PF) levels as high (63.70% and 54.68%, respectively), and 7.66% declared to have very high PF levels.
Efforts should be made to increase the PA levels among seniors, in particular in rural areas where the operations of welfare organizations should be expanded to include education and promotion of physical culture.
Key words: physical activity, seniors 60+, rural and urban area inhabitants