Exploring imagery as a technique for promoting physical activity in older adults

Maria-Christina Kosteli, Sarah Williams, Jennifer Cumming

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Abstract

Exercise imagery can be beneficial for insufficiently active people as a means to promote physical activity (PA) engagement and positive psychological states. The present study explored imagery use in physically active and insufficiently active older adults. The revised applied model of deliberate imagery use (RAMDIU) was used as a framework to explain When, Where, Why, What, and How older adults image and explored whether the Who component of the model (older adults/PA status) interacts with these different components; 37 (Mage = 64, SD = 5.2; 17 females) participants representing a range of PA levels took part in one of seven focus groups. Thematic analysis provided support for RAMDIU, with motivation, memory, and planning identified as the most common imagery functions, and scenery and reward images as the most commonly reported imagery content. Although some similarities exist, older adults tend to use imagery for unique functions compared with younger counterparts (e.g., to improve memory). Understanding the use of imagery in older adults will help to tailor PA interventions for promoting healthy aging in this population.
Original languageEnglish
JournalImagination, Cognition and Personality
Early online date5 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • exercise imagery
  • content
  • function
  • motivation
  • revised applied model

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