Body’s perceptions of elderly women in a physical activity program
The aim of the study is to know elderly women’s body perceptions and the importance of a multicomponent physical activity program. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted in 19 elderly women. Data were subjected to an interpretative analysis after the treatment of the information (QSRNVivo7). Before the PA program, data suggested social representations of the female body: weakened body; functional limitations; sickness. These women seek PA program because they expect body improvements: functional independence; health; physical appearance. After PA program they perceived some changes related to their mobility; better capacity to cope with chronic disease and counter with advancing age; and also physical repositioning of identities. In this way, physical activity program can be considered as a valid instrument for body empowerment, an “independent” and “healthy” body, i.e., weakened body recovers a certain social significance and repositions itself in the society.
Key Words: women, physical activity, body