Health Promotion Project Essay Samples
When it comes to older adults, physical activity and fitness are extremely important. This is primarily because older adults are at a crucial stage of their lives whereby their muscles start to weaken and it is only through physical activity and fitness that their muscles, as well as other body parts such as the legs and arms can remain strong and stable. However, the real situation out there is that many older adults do not engage in any form of physical activity. Many of them spend their days in stationary positions, and this is perhaps why many of them complain of general body weakness and are often susceptible to chronic diseases. Clearly, this area that warrants health promotion. Nurses have an enormous role in this brand of health promotion as many of them are in regular contact with the older adults.
The target population for this health promotion endeavor is older adults. It would perhaps be crucial to understand what is meant by older adults. These are people who are aged approximately 65 years and above. For these people to remain healthy and strong even in their later stages of life, there is a need for them to engage in frequent physical exercise and fitness activities. Older adults make up a considerable portion of the national population, and their importance to the society cannot be undermined (Elsawy, B., & Higgins, 2010). However, when it comes to the matter at hand, the statistics are not appealing. Current estimates how that about 60% of older adults in America do not take part in the recommended amount of regular physical exercise. About 28 to 34% of older adults aged between 65 years and 74 years are completely inactive (Elsawy, B., & Higgins, 2010). This is why the promotion of this health activity is extremely important. These dim statistics necessitate the immediate introduction of a health promotion initiative that will encourage and indeed promote the engagement of older adults in physical activities. The most recommended type of exercise include aerobic activities (such as fats walking or cycling) and muscle strengthening activities (to strengthen body parts such as the hips, legs chest, abdomen, arms, and shoulders).
Promotion of physical activity and fitness is one of the focus areas in the Healthy 2020 initiative. The Healthy 2020 initiative in fact released a document called the “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans” in 2008 that gave the aims, guidelines and directions for physical activity in older adults. Seeing that about 80% of older adults fail to meet the recommended guidelines for muscle strengthening and aerobic activities, Healthy 2020 seeks to teach older adults about the importance of physical activity and fitness, and encourage them to take part in this initiative so that but by the year 202, this huge figure of inactive older adults will be reduced significantly and a majority of the older adults will ascribe to regular physical activity.
The article “Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults” (Chodzko-Zajko, 2014)emphasizes on the importance of physical activity in older adults as an effective and affordable means of preventing chronic disease and conditions, and enhancing high-quality life and independence in older adults. Chodzko-Zajko (2014), asserts that there is a great relationship between physical activity and healthy aging. It is also asserted that strategies meant to promote successful and active aging have to be incorporated into public policy. According to Chodzko-Zajko (2014), kinesiologists as well as health professionals from other disciplines can aid in the reduction of chronic disease risk factors by building awareness about the huge importance of physical activity in older adults.
The article “Correlates of physical activity: why are some people physically active and others are not?” (Bauman et al., 2012) emphasizes on the importance of understanding why some people are physically active while others are not. The author states that this is important because physical inactivity is one of the leading contributors to non-communicable diseases in people across all social classes whether high income or low income. Understanding why some people tend to be more physically active while others are inactive contributes significantly to evidence-based planning and creation of public health interventions (Bauman et al., 2012). This is because effective health promotion programs will target the specific factors that lead to inactivity.
In “Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Adults”, Elsawy & Higgins (2010) give clear guidelines for physical activity in older adults. This includes sample physical activities that older adults can participate including both muscle strengthening and aerobic activities as well as activities meant to boost balance and flexibility. Elsawy & Higgins (2010 also show the benefits of physical activity that include the decrease of health risks, the promotion of physical dependence, reduced risk of fall among others. Elsawy & Higgins also describe activity plans; which are actually carefully articulated plans for physical activities among old adults.
The content of the articles finds great use in developing health promotion projects relating to physical activity. The first article provides concepts on the incorporation of intervention and health promotion into public policy. As a nurse, I should not just promote physical activity by talking to the affected individuals but can participate in public forums to push for the formation of formal programs that promote physical activity in adults. This will be part of my health promotion tactic.
In developing health promotion, the second article will guide me in establishing the major reasons why many older adults are not engaging in exercise and I will be able to use this information to develop strategies to dilute the factors causing physical inactivity.
The content of the third article will help me in determining the specific health activities that I should mainly promote and how I should convince the older adults to partake in them. For example, for muscle strengthening. I will encourage the lifting of weights and the carrying of groceries.
There are approaches I plan to use to educate the target population about the topic. The first has been manually sitting down with older adults and explaining the importance of physical activity. I will also publish various manuals and brochures that visually explain the benefits of physical activity and the effects of not taking part in physical activity. I will show how physical activity is not necessarily a tiring endeavor but can actually be a fun filled activity. I plan to introduce fun competitions that promote physical fitness. I also plan to educate the older adults about simple lifestyle choices that can boost physical activities, such as walking or cycling to the local drug store instead of driving or sending someone.
Physical activities and fitness are extremely important in older adults as they help to reduce their susceptibility to chronic diseases and helps to strengthen their muscles, as well as their body parts such as the legs and the arms. Current estimates show that a majority of older adults in America do not take part in regular physical exercise and this why the promotion of this health activity is extremely important. Being one of the focus areas of Health 2020, promotion of physical activity in older adults seeks to increase the number of older adults engaging in physical activity and therefore attain various health and social benefits.
Bauman, A. E., Reis, R. S., Sallis, J. F., Wells, J. C., Loos, R. J., Martin, B. W., & Lancet Physical Activity Series Working Group. (2012). Correlates of physical activity: why are some people physically active and others not? The lancet, 380(9838), 258-271.
Chodzko-Zajko, W. J. (2014). Exercise and physical activity for older adults. Kinesiology Review.3 (1), 101-106.
Elsawy, B., & Higgins, K. E. (2010). Physical activity guidelines for older adults. American family physician, 81(1), 55-9.
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