Article Text

Analysis of the perceived healthy lifestyles of adults and older adults of the Empowering Health Learning for the Elderly project: effects of gender
  1. J Tortosa-Martínez1,
  2. A Soler-Gomis1,
  3. L Vega-Ramirez1,
  4. A Plaza-Salán2
  1. 1University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain
  2. 2Private Clinic, Alicante, Spain

Abstract

The Empowering Health Learning for the Elderly project analysed the perceived health and lifestyle factors of a sample of 1200 adults of four different European countries (Italy, Spain, France and the Netherlands). Didactic tools were developed for promoting healthy lifestyles related to sleep, alcohol and smoking, nutrition, pharmacology, physical exercise, memory and emotional intelligence. The instrument used was a questionnaire with 64 multiple choice questions. The data discussed here represent only the Spanish sample (300). The perceived health of the sample is highly positive, with more men perceiving their health as good (71%) than women (66%). The number of sleeping hours is considered sufficient for most of the sample but the quality of these hours is considered satisfactory for only 50% of the sample. Men report higher positive percentages regarding quality of sleep than women. Women report to have better eating habits than men. About 48% of the study recalls having memory problems in some degree. Women complain more about learning new abilities and spatial orientation problems, while men complain more often about remembering names or finding objects that they need. Around 45% of men consider their physical fitness as good compared to nearly 50% of women. 40% of women refer to practice physical exercise between 3 and 5 days compared to 36% of men. The perceived health of the sample is quite high. However, the majority of the sample is highly educated, with a high socioeconomic status and a strong background on health education. Intellectual functioning is the most solid psychological factor for predicting health. Men have a better perception of their health and report better quality of sleep, but have worse eating habits and do less physical activity than women.

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Footnotes

  • Funding 134023-LLP-1-2007-1-IT-GRUNDTVIG-GMP.

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