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Constructing a pedagogy of physical activity for healthy ageing

Grant number: 19/05358-7
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: October 16, 2019 - October 22, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Education
Cooperation agreement: CONFAP ; Newton Fund, with FAPESP as a partner institution in Brazil ; UK Academies
Principal Investigator:Samuel de Souza Neto
Grantee:Samuel de Souza Neto
Visiting researcher: David Kirk
Visiting researcher institution: University of Strathclyde, Scotland
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil


The number of people aged 60 or older will rise from 900 million to 2 billion between 2015 and 2050 (WHO, 2015). Comprehensive health-promoting actions are needed to promote healthy ageing. This collaborative research project addresses the question of how the delivery of physical activity helps older people to stay healthy. In Brazil, initiatives have integrated education and health through physical activity as means of health promotion. Examples are the inclusion of Physical Education professionals as members of health workforce within multiprofessional teams for integrated care and the implementation of public programmes for lifetime physical activity. However, there is little knowledge about how Physical Education professionals have developed their practice as health workers. Adopting a salutogenic perspective, the purpose of this research is three-fold: (1) to elucidate the relationship between health development and physical activity in older age; (2) to analyse the instructional aspects employed by Physical Education professionals with older people that enable this relationship; and (3) to identify elements for the development of a pedagogy of physical activity for healthy ageing. The study has a qualitative approach and a grounded theory research design. Data were generated through the condensed fieldwork method with three-day visits to health-promoting programmes. Theoretical sampling guided the selection of four programmes, located in four Brazilian cities. Participants included Physical Education professionals, health centres´ coordinators and older people enrolled in the programmes. Data comprised interviews and observational fieldnotes of sessions. Data will be analysed through constant comparison. The ongoing collaborative project is organised into five phases: I - Research training on theoretical issues: a member of the research team was supervised by Professor David Kirk at the University of Strathclyde; II - Data generation in Brazil; III - Data analysis; IV - Research training on the design of pedagogies to be delivered by Professor David Kirk in Brazil; V - Conclusion and report. Findings are expected to reveal how physical activity acts as a health resource for older people and to contribute internationally to health agenda by establishing elements about how physical activity might be delivered aiming at healthy ageing. (AU)