Health behaviors and their determinants in multiethnic, active Israeli seniors

Anat A. Shemesh, Iris Rasooly, Pamela Horowitz, John Lemberger, Yosefa Ben-Moshe, Josefa Kachal, Josepha Danziger, A. Mark Clarfield, Elliot Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To assess factors that affect the adoption of healthy lifestyles among a variety of active Israeli seniors, a survey was conducted in 2002 at the Peiluyada, a physical activity-oriented health fair for seniors held annually in Israel from 1995 to 2002. A multi-language, self-administered questionnaire, assessing predisposing factors, barriers and health-protective behaviors, was fielded to potential participants. Response rate at the event was 51%. Hebrew and Arabic speakers generally characterized their health as good to very good, while Russian speakers' health was rated only poor to fair. Over 80% engaged in regular physical activity, were satisfied with their diet, and conformed to international nutritional recommendations. Vaccination coverage against influenza (81%) and pneumocccocus (58%) was highest among Arabic speakers, and lowest among Russian speakers (33.5% and 12%, respectively). Higher age (≥75 years) was significantly associated with receiving a vaccination against influenza. Major barriers to exercise included low motivation and poor physical health or disability. Health-related dietary restrictions were the leading nutritional barrier. Prominent barriers to vaccination included concerns about vaccine effectiveness (39%) and side effects (29%). Leading cues to action were a recommendation from one's doctor (67%) and from a healthcare worker (51%).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-77
Number of pages15
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged
  • Health behaviors
  • Health fairs
  • Immunization
  • Israel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Aging


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