2018, Volume 10, Issue 2
Opinions of the students of the University of the Third Age on selected health behaviors and social support – A comparative analysis
Ewa Kupcewicz1, Małgorzata Kuśmierczyk2, Barbara Wilk2, Monika Opanowska3, Marcin Pasek4
1Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Collegium Medicum University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
2Faculty of Public Health, Jozef Rusiecki University College, Olsztyn
3Department of Rehabilitation and Kinesiology, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport
4Faculty of Tourism and Recreation, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport
Author for correspondence: Ewa Kupcewicz; Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Collegium Medicum University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: In the reflection on old age, the issue of activating the elderly and incorporating them into social life in order to counteract social exclusion and all forms of discrimination is clearly marked. The study aimed at getting to know the opinions of the students of the University of the Third Age on preferred health behaviors and social support.
Material and methods. The study group involved 130 students of the University of the Third Age. The vast majority were women (90%, n=117), and the mean age was 65.4±5.9 years. The study used a questionnaire containing questions about sociodemographic data, selected health behaviors and social support. The p level of <0.05 was considered significant for the interpretation of hypotheses.
Results. The place of residence does not have a significant impact on the activities undertaken among the respondents. Walks and organized gymnastics were the most frequently chosen form of physical activity, which people aged 66-70 often did. Passive rest of a significant percentage of students was associated with watching television. The most frequently occurring condition was hypertension. Emotional support was received by the respondents from the family/relatives (40% of respondents); a similar percentage of people (about 37%) declared that they had no expectations in this regard. The percentage of people using institutional support in both subgroups was significantly different, with respondents in Ketrzyn using this form more often.
Conclusions. Surveyed students lead an inadequately active lifestyle. Factors such as age, place of residence and education did not affect physical activity.
Key words: elderly people, health behaviors, physical activity, social support