“It is Easy to do Nothing and Easy to Sit Down”: Perceptions of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors During Pre-retirement

Karl Spiteri, David Broom, Kate Grafton, Bob Laventure, John Xerri de Caro

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    This study explored the insights of old age pre-retirement employees towards physical activity and sedentary behavior. A quota sampling of 20 participants from within the Civil Service in Malta were invited to an interview. Participants who were included met the statutory requirement for retirement within the subsequent 6 months to 1 year. Semi-structured interviews were conducted using a narrative approach. Structural narrative analysis and reflective thematic analysis were used. The story structure highlighted the significance of the individual experiences on the perceptions towards future physical activity during retirement. Two themes were identified using the thematic analysis, influencers, and perceptions. Triangulation identified that sedentary behavior was not part of the narration. The transition from work to retirement is a unique and personal experience and therefore when promoting an active lifestyle, the individual experience and past behaviors must be actively considered.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1435-1444
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
    Issue number5
    Early online date15 Feb 2022
    Publication statusPublished - May 2022

    Bibliographical note

    This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).


    The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was partly funded by the ENDEAVOUR scholarship scheme – Group B- National funds – Malta (MEDE/1117/2017/43). Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s) 2022.


    • retirement
    • physical activity
    • successful aging
    • health behaviors
    • sedentary behavior


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