Spacer Rural Route to Active Aging grainery pic Rural Route to Active Aging

Making the Case > Bottom-Line Benefits > How Do Rural Health Beliefs and Issues Affect Physical Activity?

Health Beliefs

How Do Rural Health Beliefs and Issues Affect Physical Activity? - man fishingSelf-reliance and resilience are two words that come to mind when thinking about rural older adults. As a result, people living in rural areas are less likely to take part in preventative health.

In general, rural older adults are more likely to be physically active if the activity has a purpose, e.g., walking to check fence line, stacking wood or playing a sport.

Health Issues

People living in rural communities also experience more poverty, higher unemployment and a shorter life expectancy.

The economy, distance between services, and the lack of access to health services, information and professionals also affect healthy aging and older adults’ participation in regular physical activity.

Any strategy to increase older adult participation in physical activity must consider these issues and beliefs. More than one strategy must be used to reach this diverse population.

Resources such as the Age Friendly Rural and Remote Communities, Healthy Rural Communities: A Resource and Action Guide for North Carolina and Alberta Active Communities in the Find Out More section below are good sources of ideas. 

Find out More

    1. Outdoor spaces and buildings.

    2. Transportation.

    3. Housing.

    4. Respect and social inclusion.

    5. Social participation.

    6. Civic participation and employment opportunities.

    7. Communication and information.

    8. Community support and health services

Rural Route to Active Aging homepage