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Active aging, using the conventional sense of activity, might be difficult to achieve for people with chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP). Given that a large number of older people will develop CMP, it is important to consider a broader conceptualization of activity and how this might fit into discourses of aging. We report findings from a study of the experiences of chronic pain in the daily life of 60 older people. In this article we focus on the role and meanings of physical activity for those older people. We develop a typology of styles-deliberate, strategic, and natural-to show how people approached physical activity and how its meaning differed for individuals in different contexts and across their life course. We suggest a more balanced perspective of aging in which "slowing down" might also be a desirable outcome for some older people with CMP but is not incompatible with well-being.
- execise/physical activity, older people
- musculoskeletal disorders
- pain, chronic
- qualitative analysis