Health Policy Manag.  2018 Dec;28(4):392-401. 10.4332/KJHPA.2018.28.4.392.

Current Status and Factors Related to Physical Activity of Older Nursing Home Residents with and without Dementia: Effects of Individual and Institutional Characteristics

  • 1Department of Public Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Institute of Aging, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


Physical activity (PA) is critical for maintaining the health and well-being of older people in community and also institutional settings. The purpose
of this study was to examine the current status of PA and related individual and organizational factors among older nursing home residents with and without dementia.
This is a secondary data analysis study of a nationwide survey of 92 long-term care facilities in Korea, and the study sample includes older residents with dementia (n=753) and without dementia (n=480). The level of PA was measured by PA time and whether or not residents had an outdoor activity over the past 3 days. Multi-variate, multi-level analyses were conducted.
More than half of the sample in both groups had no or less than 1 hour of PA. About one out of four older people in our sample had no outdoor activity over the past 3 days regardless of whether or not they had dementia. Among the people without dementia, several individual-level factors were associated with PA, including dependency for activities of daily living, social activity participation, and caregivers' belief in the functional improvement of residents. Unlike the non-dementia group, individual- and organizationallevel factors including staffing level and having the relevant equipment for PA were associated with PA among those with dementia.
Study findings provide evidence on the lack of PA among older nursing home residents, and the importance of institutional capacity with regard to human resources and physical equipment for promoting PA among people with dementia, in particular. Policies and supports are needed to promote the implementation of healthy aging programs including PA for older nursing home residents. Such programs should be person-centered with consideration to the physical and cognitive status of individual residents.


Function; Dementia; Healthy aging; Nursing homes; Long-term care
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