Professor Aims to Promote Positive Views on Aging as Part of Physical Exercise Experiment

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The prevalence of negative views on aging have been covered here before, but now it’s time for a different take on the matter. Professor Manfred Diehl of Colorado State University believes that a positive view on aging can be an important part of promoting physical exercise, and he’s planning the research to test his theory.

The basic goal of Diehl and his team is to see whether a program that mixes psychological motivation with exercise routines will be able to promote physical well-being. Specifically, the approaches will be a combination of improving negative views on aging, improving a sense of mastery, and the development of goal-planning behavior.

An underlying assumption for Diehl is that negative views on aging are a form of psychological barrier that can prevent people from taking steps towards a healthier aging process. After all, as the reasoning goes, if a person believes that aging is a downhill process, they will be less motivated to do things like exercise and are more likely to quit earlier if they don’t see immediate results.

The intended method for Diehl and his team will be to devise and offer an educational program along with a four-week adult fitness program. The educational program will help build goal-planning and promote positive views on aging. The fitness program is meant to provide a “jump start” that, it is hoped, will encourage participants to continue exercising after the study’s conclusion.

Diehl’s team is made up of himself, the CSU head of Health and Exercise Science, Barry Braun, and Adult Fitness Program Director, Kimberly Burke. The study is funded by a $29,946 grant from the Interdisciplinary Pilot Grant Program.

Leavenworth, M., “Study aims to increase positive views on aging, physical exercise,” Colorado State University web site, October 12, 2016;, last accessed October 18, 2016.