Older Chinese Americans’ Perspectives on Physical Activity: A Mixed Methods Study

Carina Katigbak, Dale Dagar Maglalang, Tam Nguyen, Minna Wang, Cheuk Lam Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The benefits of physical activity for successful aging are well established. Few interventions however, target older Asian Americans who may have distinct needs for cultural and linguistic tailoring. The heterogeneity among Asian Americans underscores the need to elucidate specific physical activity preferences by ethnic subgroup. To better understand older Chinese Americans’ perceptions about physical activity, we conducted a community-engaged, mixed methods study with 60 participants. Through survey and focus groups, four emerging themes characterized perceptions of physical activity: (a) physical activities benefit the body and mind, (b) traditional Chinese culture influences perceptions and preferences for physical activity, (c) physical activity presents opportunities for social engagement, and (d) physical activity facilitates family harmony. Design recommendations includes encouraging mind–body approaches, incorporating culturally specific practices, highlighting opportunities for social engagement, and emphasizing the potential for improved harmony.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)472-480
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Asian
  • immigrant
  • mixed methods
  • older adults
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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