The role of perceived barriers and objectively measured physical activity in adults aged 65-100

Paul Gellert, Miles D. Witham, Iain K. Crombie, Peter T. Donnan, Marion E. T. McMurdo, Falko F. Sniehotta (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: to test the predictive utility of perceived barriers to objectively measured physical activity levels in a stratified sample of older adults when accounting for social-cognitive determinants proposed by the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), and economic and demographic factors.Methods: data were analysed from the Physical Activity Cohort Scotland survey, a representative and stratified (65-80 and 80+ years; deprived and affluent) sample of 584 community-dwelling older people, resident in Tayside, Scotland. Physical activity was measured objectively by accelerometry.Results: perceived barriers clustered around the areas of poor health, lack of interest, lack of safety and lack of access. Perceived poor health and lack of interest, but not lack of access or concerns about personal safety, predicted physical activity after controlling for demographic, economic and TPB variables.Discussion: perceived person-related barriers (poor health and lack of interest) seem to be more strongly associated with physical activity levels than perceived environmental barriers (safety and access) in a large sample of older adults. Perceived barriers are modifiable and may be a target for future interventions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)384-390
    Number of pages7
    JournalAge and Ageing
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2015


    • Older people
    • Perceived barriers
    • Physical activity
    • Theory of planned behaviour

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ageing
    • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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