The influence of the Covid-19 pandemic on municipal meeting places arranging group exercise for older persons

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PURPOSE: Many municipalities today, together with other stakeholders, offer group exercises for the older population via municipal meeting places, focusing on promoting good health. During the Covid-19 pandemic, these group exercises either continued in a modified form or ceased. The aim of this study was to explore involved stakeholders' experiences of group exercises for older persons arranged via municipal meeting places during the Covid-19 pandemic.

METHODS: Six online focus group interviews were conducted with 25 stakeholders, such as decision-makers and representatives from the non-profit sector, from seven municipalities in Sweden. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.

FINDINGS: The collaboration around the group exercises was challenged due to affected communication and decision-making. The stakeholders described the importance of adapting and finding new ways to offer group exercise. Furthermore, the re-arranging of group exercises created concerns about the well-being of the older persons but also happiness with the older persons ability to act for their own well-being during the pandemic.

CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the importance of the municipalities exchanging experiences, making the older persons more involved in the decision-making process, enabling a person-centred encounter with the older persons when exercising in groups, and strengthening supportive environments by sharing the ownership of arranging the group exercises with the older persons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2235130
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023-Jul-27

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Health Sciences (303)


  • Person-centeredness
  • Aged
  • Community dwelling older people
  • Community network
  • COVID-19
  • Sweden
  • Focus Groups
  • Physical activity
  • Senior center
  • Health promotion


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