EXERCISE IS MEDICINE: ELDERLY, THE FORGOTTEN AGE GROUP IN AFRICAN COMMUNITIES

Mugari Abisha

Abstract


The World Assembly on Ageing (1982) in Vienna recommended that social, cultural and leisure activities are necessary for the elderly and should be provided by each country. This study was motivated by an unfair situation the elderly found themselves living in, that is, a sedentary life-style which is prone to chronic diseases. The elderly are left out not enjoying the health significance of physical activities. Contemporary research findings have also invigorated this recommendation by concluding that exercise is medicine. In light of this philosophy, the objectives of this study were to identify right sport and exercise activities for the elderly, to examine the experiences of the elderly people in Zimbabwe and come up with solutions to sedentary lives, since it is common among the elderly to live passive lives in the  comfort of their families,  and as such, this age group is prone to diseases yet according to AIDS/HIV activists, these elders are the ones bearing the brunt of AIDS/HIV as guardians of orphans and vulnerable children whose parents have perished because of this deadly disease. This study employed a case study as the design method and it was a pure qualitative research which used interviews and documentary analysis as data generating instruments. The major findings of this study were that old aged people are eager and capable of doing sports and exercise, lack of infrastructural provision deters old aged people from doing sport and exercises. It is the African culture that does not motivate old people to do sport. There is lack of knowledge on benefits accrued from doing sport and exercises. The study recommends African states to take initiative to introduce sport for the old aged people. Families should be educated on benefits accrued by the elderly if they participate in sporting life style.

 

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Keywords


the elderly, ageism, sport, exercise, Alzheimer’s disease

References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejpe.v0i0.395

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