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

Making the Case > Older Adult Voices > What Would Help Me to Be Active?

“If you see pictures of people you know doing the walking trail, you think, well, if they can do it, why can’t I?”


“As long as it is geared towards seniors. Make it specific to us.”


“Having a friend ask you to come out. That means a lot.”


“Knowing what I can and can’t do and having a purpose for doing an activity.”


“Doing something that is fun with a friend or spouse.”

What Would Help Me to Be Active?Social Support

Participants reported that social support was most likely to help them be physically active.

Examples of social support included:

  • Receiving encouragement from others, including family, friends and respected advisors such as doctors or other health practitioners.

  • Opportunities to interact with other people while being active.

  • Having a physical activity partner/buddy.

Other Factors

Several other factors encouraged people to be active.

  1. Appropriate marketing and communications. The importance of appropriate marketing and communications came out clearly. The older adult group is very diverse. It’s important to recognize their different needs and preferred communications methods.

    For more information on this topic, visit the “Reaching Older Adults” on this website.

  2. Knowledge and confidence. Participants talked about the importance of knowing what activities to do, how to do these activities safely and having the confidence to try something new.

  3. Enjoyment. People are more likely to do something that they enjoy.

  4. A health problem. Although participants recognized the value of a physically active lifestyle (and reported physical, psychological and social benefits), many had not been regularly physically active pre-retirement.

    A participant’s decision to adopt a more physically active lifestyle was often motivated by a physical health problem.

  5. More time to participate in physical activity. Participants are likely to have more time during retirement to participate in physical activity.

Other enabling factors included having grandchildren or a dog and work responsibilities that involved physically active tasks (e.g., farming).



Rural Route to Active Aging homepage