Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Public Health


Objective - To issue a recommendation on the types and amounts of physical activity needed to improve and maintain health in older adults.

Participants - A panel of scientists with expertise in public health, behavioral science, epidemiology, exercise science, medicine, and gerontology.

Evidence - The expert panel reviewed existing consensus statements and relevant evidence from primary research articles and reviews of the literature. Process: After drafting a recommendation for the older adult population and reviewing drafts of the Updated Recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) for Adults, the panel issued a final recommendation on physical activity for older adults.

Summary - The recommendation for older adults is similar to the updated ACSM/AHA recommendation for adults, but has several differences including: the recommended intensity of aerobic activity takes into account the older adult's aerobic fitness; activities that maintain or increase flexibility are recommended; and balance exercises are recommended for older adults at risk of falls. In addition, older adults should have an activity plan for achieving recommended physical activity that integrates preventive and therapeutic recommendations. The promotion of physical activity in older adults should emphasize moderate-intensity aerobic activity, muscle-strengthening activity, reducing sedentary behavior, and risk management.


Nelson, M. E., Rejeski, W. J., Blair, S. N., Duncan, P. W., Judge, J. O., King, A. C., ... Castaneda-Sceppa, C. (2007). Physical activity and public health in older adults: Recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Circulation, 116(9), 1094-1105.

DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.185650

© Circulation, 2007, American Heart Association

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