Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Aleksandra Zecevic


The risk of falling increases in adults over the age of 65. Exercise can prevent falls. The motivation to partake in physical activity might be dependent on an older adult’s experience with the risk of falling. Since the majority of older adults are sedentary, experiences of masters athletes can provide valuable insights. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the fall-risk experience of masters athletes actively competing in sport. Masters athletes over the age of 55 (n=22) described their experiences in semi-structured interviews. Data was analyzed through an interpretive-constructive paradigm using inductive content analysis. There were five dominant themes that emerged (acceptance of fall risk, learning, heightened awareness, resilience, and self-fulfillment). Findings from this study indicate that competing in sport as an older adult can be self-fulfilling even when falls-risk is present. The findings can also inform health promotion campaigns targeting fall prevention in community dwelling older adults.