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Quality in Ageing and Older Adults ; 24(1/2):54-64, 2023.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-20235078


PurposeMany older adults engage in volunteer activities, drawing meaning and purpose through such efforts. Social distancing restrictions, put in place during Covid-19 surges to reduce the risk of transmission, disrupted older adult volunteers' lives and volunteer experiences. Social distancing measures provide a unique opportunity to explore what happened when the choices around pausing or stopping volunteering were not entirely within the control of older adults. This paper aims to explore the experiences of older adult volunteers as they navigated uncertainties and made difficult decisions around balancing their safety and their desire to continue volunteering.Design/methodology/approachThe authors conducted interviews with 26 community-dwelling older adults, age 50+, who had engaged in volunteer activities for at least 1 h a week prior to the start of the pandemic. The interviews were conducted on the phone or via Zoom. The authors used thematic analysis to help us analyze the data and identify patterns from participants' experiences.FindingsDespite the risk presented by Covid-19, most participants volunteered during the pandemic. They continued some or all of their previous activities with safety-related adjustments, with some seeking new or different opportunities. Participants' discussions highlight the challenges of volunteering during the pandemic and the importance of engagement to their resiliency and subjective well-being.Originality/valueThis paper provides original contributions to understanding how and why older adults volunteered during the Covid-19 pandemic. The social distancing measures provide a novel opportunity to enrich our understanding of the meaningfulness and value of volunteerism to older adults' lives and subjective well-being.

Behav Sci (Basel) ; 12(3)2022 Mar 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731948


The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the health behaviors of people around the world, including their physical activity patterns. Intuitive exercise, a facet of one's relationship with physical activity, is defined as one's awareness, mindset (positive versus negative), and mindfulness when engaged in movement. The study's purpose was to explore whether self-reported physical activity and psychological mindsets around exercise changed during the pandemic. College students (n = 216) described their relationship with exercise before and during the pandemic through anonymous completion of the Intuitive Exercise Scale (IEXS) and open-ended questions to provide in-depth contextualized responses about exercise habits. Participants reported significantly higher scores on intuitive exercise during the pandemic, such as on the Body Trust subscale (M = 3.43), compared to pre-pandemic levels (M = 3.20), p < 0.001. Moreover, varied themes related to physical activity were uncovered such as exercising for fun, exercise influenced by emotion, and loss of motivation to exercise. Important takeaways of the study include the diversity of responses to the pandemic (i.e., some participants reported an increase in physical activity levels and more positive exercise attitudes while others experienced the opposite), the need to promote self-care, and the need for positive coping strategies.