Images of ageing and their relevance to physical activities of elderly women and men

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Images of ageing and their relevance to physical activities of elderly women and men
Ilse Hartmann-Tews, Theresa Hoppe

In an ageing society interest in healthy ageing is growing and empirical data on physical activities reveal, that the number of elderly people being involved in physical activities and sport is growing steadily, even more than in younger cohorts, and older women outnumber older men. At the same time empirical studies show that images of old age and ageing have an influence on different life domains of elderly people. Specifically, these images affect how older people evaluate their own potential of an active and healthy ageing. The purpose of our study is to assess the images of ageing with respect to aspects of a – potentially gendered – somatic culture (physical abilities, healthy lifestyle, appearance) and how these images affect the involvement in regular physical exercise of elderly people and the choice of exercise(s). Our theoretical approach refers to works on somatic culture and social constructivism (gender / age). The study is based on a computer assisted telephone interview (CATI) that took place in 2014 in Germany. The sample covers about 245 elderly women and 201 elderly men aged 50 to 80 years. Our central questions for data analysis in this presentation will be whether the level of physical exercise of older men and women is influenced by their images of ageing in general, their gender-stereotyped images of ageing with reference to their own sex and their self-concept as
an elderly person. Gender effects can be analyzed in a double sense, by focusing on (gendered) images of old age, and their potential effects of the images on physical activities.

Key Words
images of old age; older people; physical exercise
Ereignistitel13th European Association for Sociology of Sport Conference
SponsorUniversität Kopenhagen
OrtCopenhagen, DänemarkAuf Karte anzeigen