Limestone University Professor Dr. Felicia Cavallini, 2 Alumni Have Research Published In Medical Journal

Charles Wyatt
AJ and Abi

Limestone Professor of Physical Education Dr. Felicia Cavallini and two of the University’s alumni had a research paper published recently in the Journal of Family Medicine and Disease Prevention.

In the paper, entitled “Lack of Time is Still the Main Barrier to Exercise and Physical Activity in the Elderly, Although Less So than Younger and Middle-Aged Participants,” the authors looked to examine the motivators and barriers the elderly population of South Carolina have on physical activity and exercise compared to their younger counterparts.

This study, published in November of 2022, is a continuation of multiple works completed throughout both the United States and Canada, including a 2020 study conducted by Cavallini, Dr. David J. Dyck, and other former students.

The study was conducted by Cavallini and two Limestone students (now alumni), Austin “AJ” Covan and Abigail “Abi” Tredway. Dyck, from the University of Guelph, is also listed as an author on the paper.

The study contained multiple phases, first through focus group discussions, followed by a survey that each participant completed individually. All 345 participants were from Cherokee County in South Carolina.

The study found that the barriers and motivators toward physical activity and exercise in the elderly (defined in the study as those 65 and older) were largely similar to those of the younger and middle-aged participants (ages 18 to 64).

While there were some slight differences between physical barriers, such as concern for safety and injury, time-related barriers were the most consistently cited barrier to physical activity and exercise, regardless of age.

In conclusion, the paper argues, a major issue is that exercise is not enjoyable enough or a high priority for most people.

“Ultimately, our findings reinforce a consistent and somewhat sobering conclusion,” Cavallini said. “It is therefore imperative for all people, including the elderly, to find activities that they thoroughly enjoy and can easily be incorporated into their daily routine.”

Cavallini was awarded the prestigious, internationally distinguished Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant for 2014-2015 as a Visiting Research Chair in the Human Health and Nutritional Sciences Department at the University of Guelph. Following her time in Guelph, Cavallini and her research team created “MyActivity” graphics to represent their findings. The graphics reflected the data gained from 13 diverse focus groups held during Cavallini’s time in Canada. Along with the research, at least 15 of the “MyActivity” graphics have been published in peer-review national and international research journals.

Accompanying photo: Limestone students Austin “AJ” Covan and Abigail “Abi” Tredway.