Golden Age Gym: reasons for entry, permanence and satisfaction among participating older adults

Mauren da Silva Salin, Janeisa Franck Virtuoso, Alice Souza Noronha Nepomuceno, Graciella Greice Weiers, Giovana Zarpellon Mazo


Fitness facilities are being implemented in many public parks and older adults have benefited from the promotion of exercise at these sites. The objective of this study was to describe the perception of older adults participating in the Golden Age Gym program (Programa Academia da Melhor Idade - AMI) in the city of Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil, in terms of the reasons to enter and remain in this program, satisfaction, and sug-gestions regarding the services provided. A total of 163 older adults (117 women and 46 men) participating in 15 AMIs installed in public places in Joinville were interviewed. Data were collected by semi-structured interview. Descriptive statistics and thematic content analysis were used for quantitative and qualitative data, respectively. Intrinsic motivation was the predominant factor for the entry and permanence of older adults in the AMIs, particularly the pursuit of health (entry) and perceived benefits of exercise (permanence). The encouragement of others was the main extrinsic motivational factor for entry and socialization was the main reason to remain in the AMIs. The participants were satisfied with the service provided and with the infrastructure, but suggest improvements such as an increase in the number of fitness activities, training of instructors, installation of public restrooms, drinking fountains, and covered facilities. It was concluded that older people mainly present intrinsic motivations to enter and remain in the AMIs. The majority older adults is satisfied, but recommend improvement of human resources and infrastructure that would permit the implementation of new strategies designed to promote exercise in public places and to attend a larger number of users.


Motivation; Older adults; Program evaluation

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The abbreviated title of the journal is Rev. Bras. Cineantropom. Desempenho Hum, which should be used in bibliographies, footnotes and bibliographical references. E-ISSN 1980-0037, impressa ISSN 1415-8426, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.