What needs do experts and future Physical Activity and Sport professionals perceive to promote healthy aging? Professionals and students’ views

Oriol Sansano-Nadal, Blanca Roman-Viñas, Jose Luis Socorro-Cumplido, Ainhoa Nieto-Guisado, Dhayana Dallmeier, Laura Coll-Planas, Andrea Fuente-Vidal, Maria Giné-Garriga

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review


Introduction: Physical activity acts as an adjuvant in the treatment of numerous diseases and in the promotion of healthy aging. Increasing longevity entails an increase in the demand for professionals who prescribe physical activity, specifically physiotherapists and physical-activity educators. Objectives: The main objective of this study was to explore the perceptions of a group of third- and fourth-year Physiotherapy students (n = 9) and Sport Sciences students (n = 5), and experts who work with older adults (n = 3) about their knowledge of the older adult population and healthy aging. The secondary objectives were to: (a) explore what knowledge future professionals need about physical activity programming and about physical activity programs aimed at maintaining and improving health among older adults; (b) explore what would be the best methodology to acquire such knowledge; and (c) explore whether a relationship is perceived between knowledge about the older adult population and motivation to work with this population group. Methods: Two discussion groups with students and three interviews with experts were conducted. Discussion groups and interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed through a reflexive thematic analysis, following the steps described by Braun and Clarke (2021). Results: Three themes were identified from the discussion groups: (1) conception and ideas about older adults, (2) skills and knowledge perceived as important, and (3) proposals for motivational intervention addressed to the older population. Four themes were identified from the interviews with experts: (1) characteristics of the future professional, (2) physical activity programs for older people: the recipe for success, (3) the role of enjoyment as key to success, and (4) barriers/obstacles along the path. Conclusion: Students of both degrees and experts believe that more practical training opportunities are needed, to enable students to interact with the older population and get to know their needs, motivations, and barriers, to increase physical activity levels in this population group.

Translated title of the contribution¿Qué necesidades perciben los expertos y los futuros profesionales de la Actividad Física y del Deporte para promover un envejecimiento saludable? Visión de profesionales y estudiantes
Original languageEnglish
Article number101495
JournalRevista española de geriatría y gerontología
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2024


  • Health
  • Healthy aging
  • Motivation
  • Physical activity
  • Students


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