A Photovoice Documentation of the Role of Neighborhood Physical and Social Environments in Older Adults’ Physical Activity in Two Metropolitan Areas in North America

Published: 2021-07-07 00:04:07
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Category: Sociology

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Response PaperThis article established a relationship between the physical and social environment which has a prominent influence on the physical activities of older people. The findings of this research are helpful in concluding that physical and environmental characteristics of a neighborhood have an impact on the health and attitude of the people. There are many few types of research conducted in the area and its effects on the welfare of the people. The research focus was on old adults who are an essential part of our society. Therefore, it is crucial to design the neighborhood which facilitates them. There is a common belief that physical activity is not necessary for old people and this is the reason why people when they enter into adulthood, become lazy and inactive. The low level of activity makes them prone to many chronicle diseases. It is a false assumption, and many doctors recommend exercise and high level of physical activity for the old people.Physical activity is very important for older people; it helps them in maintaining a healthy body and a strong mind. Socialization and physical activity could significantly minimize the negative impacts of many chronicle diseases in older people. Retired people can acquire the required amount of physical activity by walking in the neighborhood and for recreation (Mahmood et al.). The importance of neighborhood can be recognized by the fact that it has a substantive impact on the health and well-being of the people. A healthy neighborhood has a positive impact on the social life of old people. It is observed that the center of socialization for the old people is the neighborhood. Elderly people who socialize more are less likely to develop mental health issues like anxiety and depression. It has been observed that comfort and familiarity with the local area help in developing a sense of control in the older adults (Oswald et al.)This article is based on qualitative research in which sixty-six older people from eight different countries participated in collecting photo voice data. The data was then used to highlight strengths and concerns of the community, to promote discussion and knowledge about essential communal problems through group discussion of photographs. This study emphasized how the physical environment and society plays a role in enhancing or hindering physical activities of older people. For this research, the research strategy used was Photovoice. It is a method in which partakers take photographs as a method of data collection. This data is very useful as it also covers the minor details left by the collection of data in a written or oral form.The primary purpose of this article is to highpoint the relationship of environment and physical condition of the neighborhood with the health and well-being of old people from the perspective of old people. Young people always fail to pinpoint the material conditions of the neighborhood which can have a negative impact on the well-being of old people. Through this research, seven themes were originated these themes are feeling of security, being safe, reaching the destination, comfortable movement, variety of destinations, peer support, community-based programs and volunteer activities (Mahmood et al.).The most photographed and talked about theme was safety and security. It means that most of the adult people want a safe and secure. This theme includes both physical securities like quiet streets and the psychological scene of security which is concerned with physical safety. A few issues came to the surface which made the old people feel unsafe. The next theme was getting there which is related to barriers to assessing different services and facilities. It was detected that a neighborhood with transport facilities and nearby shops and store are most required by the old people.They way older adults can travel with comfort. Comfort in movement means an absence of physical stoppages like barriers and parking space. Old people prefer to have an environment which is comfortable for movement. Public toilets and benches are also essential requirements in a healthy neighborhood. Peer support helps in social stability of the older adults and participants of the study were of the view that peer support was a good way for helping people in socializing and carrying out the study. People engage in more activities when they have peer support, and such people are more healthy and active. Community-based programs should also be present in the neighborhood. A community garden or a library is attractive places which are a source of activity and socialization of older people. The last theme discussed in the study is volunteer activities. Older people volunteering in community activities are both physically and socially active (Oswald et al.).Keeping in view all the themes highlighted in this study it is essential to have a neighborhood which has all the facilities required by the older community. These facilities will help the older generation in building a healthy body and personality. This phenomenon is getting aggregate consideration from several experts and policy makers. It is also important to motivate the old people to take part in social and community services and also to motivate young generation in making the neighborhood suitable for them. Although providing suitable physical environment is a good initiative taken by many policy makers in different countries like USA, Canada, and Norway, but it is also necessary to take steps to improve the quality of air and water so that health can also be adjusted.Works CitedMahmood, Atiya, et al. “A Photovoice Documentation of the Role of Neighborhood Physical and Social Environments in Older Adults’ Physical Activity in Two Metropolitan Areas in North America.” Social Science & Medicine, vol. 74, no. 8, 2012, pp. 1180–92.Oswald, Frank, et al. “Toward Measuring Proactivity in Person-Environment Transactions in Late Adulthood: The Housing-Related Control Beliefs Questionnaire.” Journal of Housing for the Elderly, vol. 17, no. 1–2, 2003, pp. 135–52.

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