The Empowering Health Learning for the Elderly project targeted the promotion of competences and abilities related to health education for professionals working with adults. The first step of the programme was to analyse the perceived health of 1200 adults and older adults of four different countries (Spain, Italy, France and Holland). The instrument used was a questionnaire with 64 multiple choice questions about healthy lifestyles such as physical exercise, eating, drinking and smoking, use of drugs, memory and emotional intelligence. Data were analysed using Excel dynamic tables and SPSS V.15. The data discussed here represent only physical activity related results of the Spanish sample (300). 86% of the subjects were between 55 and 74 years of age. The perceived health of the population is good and 95% of the sample reports to be independent. About 50% consider themselves as active with only 2% reporting being seated for most of the day. Daily physical activity is reduced with age (p<0.01). Especially, people over 85 years old have reduced activity compared to younger ones (p=0.01). Around 45% of the men consider their physical fitness good compared to nearly 50% for women. There is a higher number of men doing physical activity five or more times a week than women (p<0.017). There is a correlation between reporting a high frequency of physical exercise and having a good perceived physical condition (p=0.05). Overall, the perceived health of the sample is good. The levels of physical activity are also good. This is probably due to the characteristics of the sample, with a high socioeconomic status and a high educational level. The study relies on perceived analyses and not on objective measures. It would be appropriate to use both methods to compare results.
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