Physical activity and human development among older native American women

K. A. Henderson, B. E. Ainsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Physical activity involvement often changes as an individual gets older. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to explore the involvement in and meanings of physical activity from childhood to the present among a selected group of Native American women. The results showed that perceived meanings of physical activity remained relatively stable over the lives of these women. Two patterns of involvement emerged among the women: decliners and rejuvenators. The results suggested that physical activity as women aged was a result not of choice as often as of a life situation. Furthermore, the changes occurring in physical activity over the life course reflected social and cultural influences, as well as individual self-determination. The findings indicated that a variety of perspectives are needed if researchers are to understand the changes that occur in physical activity patterns and how both women and men of all ethnic groups might remain involved in physical activity throughout their lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-299
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


  • Culture
  • Exercise
  • Health
  • Leisure
  • Life course
  • Life span

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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