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Exploring physical activity changes and experiences of older adults living in retirement villages during a pandemic
Objective: To explore physical activity changes and participation among physically active older adults living in retirement villages during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted over the telephone. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Reflexive thematic analysis was conducted.
Results: Seventeen older adults were interviewed, and they engaged in many types of physical activity before the COVID-19 lockdown. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the most common physical activity that older adults participated in was walking. Mental well-being and socialisation were affected during the lockdown, with older adults employing several strategies to help them cope.
Conclusions: During the COVID-19 pandemic, physically active residents of retirement villages maintained their physical activity, but with reduced intensity and variety. In some cases, this impacted their mental and physical health. Physical activity resources aimed at facilitating diverse and sufficiently intense physical activity may benefit this group, and others.