National physical activity recommendations for older Australians: Discussion Document

8. Physical activity options for older people: Types and doses

The National Ageing Research Institute was commissioned by The Department of Health and Ageing to review the evidence and develop physical activity recommendations for older people.

Page last updated: 01 February 2011

It is acknowledged that older people are a heterogeneous group. Thus the preferred options of physical activity for any one individual will depend upon a range of factors including their health status and their readiness to adopt physical activity behaviour. Older people commonly want to know what they need to do to attain the health benefits discussed in Chapter 3. As implied in Chapter 5, it is not sufficient to simply advise older people to be physically active. People want to know what type of physical activity to do, to what intensity, for how long and how often. Our efforts to answer these queries are limited by the existing evidence base. An overview of the literature about the types and amount of physical activity suitable for older people is provided in this Chapter. Chapter 9 gives an update of the information available about physical activity for particular sub-groups of the older population, including those with one or more of the health conditions addressed by the National Health Priority Areas.

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