Date of Conferral







Leeann Stadtlander


Globally, by 2050, the older adult population will be larger than other age segments of the population. Government programs and health care guidelines are being put in place to help encourage exercise. However, there is little information on how the societal pressure presented in these government programs makes people feel, especially those over the age of 65. The purpose of the present study was to understand what the societal pressure to exercise means to adults over the age of 65 using a qualitative, phenomenological approach and employing in-depth interviews using the health belief model as the guiding framework. The interview questions addressed areas surrounding knowledge held by older adults on exercise recommendations and the pressure to exercise, along with their feelings, their opinions toward exercise, exercise commercials, and exercise-related products, and how these views may have changed over the years. Seventeen older adults were interviewed with each interview lasting approximately 45 minutes. Data collected from these interviews were coded and examined for themes. The results showed that adults 65+ have mixed views on the societal pressure to exercise. The consensus was that while they felt that the societal pressure to exercise was good, the societal pressure messages were not meant for them. The information obtained from the present study supports positive social change by giving government officials and healthcare policymakers a better understanding of what exercise and pressuring older adults to exercise means, which will help the design of better interventions and programs, specifically for this portion of the population.