Being Old Does Not Necessarily Mean Being Inactive: Health Profile of Elderly Athletes versus Community-Dwelling Older Adults


Introduction: According to the records of the Hong Kong Athletic Gala for the Elderly, some sports events have been won by the same group of elderly participants for several consecutive years. What made these elderly athletes different from others? Method: This was a retrospective quantitative study. The health profile data on a total of 125 elderly participants were collected. 36 and 29 were the winners and losers of the Hong Kong Athletic Gala for the Elderly between 2008 and 2010, respectively. The remaining 60 were non-participants. The non-participants came from six elderly centers in different districts in Hong Kong. Health profile parameters were measured using the Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile II, which is used to measure healthy behaviors such as physical activity level, nutrition, stress management, health responsibility, interpersonal relations and spiritual growth. Results: About 41.7% (n = 15) and 80.0% (n = 48) of the elderly (mean age = 74 ± 9.0) in the winner and non-participant groups with chronic diseases. There were significant (p < 0.05) differences in fat percentage, mobility, and body mass index among the three groups of elderly. Five out of six domains in the HPLP-II: physical activity, nutrition, interpersonal relations, spiritual growth and health responsibility, were siginificantly different among two groups. Conclusion: It could be concluded that elderly people who had better health status and lifestyle, and who undertook regular exercise, fared better than others in sports events.

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Tse, M. , Wong, A. and Wan, V. (2014) Being Old Does Not Necessarily Mean Being Inactive: Health Profile of Elderly Athletes versus Community-Dwelling Older Adults. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 5, 1442-1451. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2014.521182.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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