A Study of How Physical Recreation Activities Contribute to Senior Wellness, With A Recommended Taiwan Model

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Dorothy Ettling


William Carleton


James C. Sorensen


Richard Henderson


With the increase in longevity among seniors in Taiwan and world-wide, it is important to ensure that this population takes full advantage of those added years in a climate of physical health and mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being. This study contends that the best way to achieve wellness is through regular physical exercise, whether Western-style exercise such as jogging or traditional Eastern-style exercises such as tai-chi. It also proposes that the achievement of this regular physical exercise cannot be accomplished casually, at least not for the senior population at large. Senior wellness requires the positive input of all levels of society, from individual seniors to private enterprise to government. It also requires that the barriers to senior participation in physical wellness programs be addressed and removed. The purpose of the study was to examine various wellness literature, conduct a survey and interviews with seniors in order to recommend the components of a model program for physical wellness which can be used by seniors in Taiwan. The research design utilized a quantitative survey with 200 seniors living in six cities in Taiwan, and qualitative interviews with 15 seniors chosen from the original 200. The results of the survey and interviews were used to create the components of a optimal model for a physical wellness program which will promote holistic wellness among seniors and to offer recommendations to the Taiwan government for implementing the program. It is the final contention of the study that the implementation of this model, once it is refined and the details further laid out, will lead to the desired effect of creating a more enjoyable and healthy lifestyle for the ever-increasing numbers of seniors in Taiwan.

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