Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Physical Activity and Public Health in Older Adults: Recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association

NELSON, MIRIAM E.1,2; REJESKI, W. JACK3; BLAIR, STEVEN N.4; DUNCAN, PAMELA W.5; JUDGE, JAMES O.6,7; KING, ABBY C.8; MACERA, CAROL A.9; CASTANEDA-SCEPPA, CARMEN2,10

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: August 2007 - Volume 39 - Issue 8 - p 1435-1445
doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e3180616aa2
SPECIAL COMMUNICATIONS: Special Reports

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 important 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.

1John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Tufts University, Boston, MA; 2Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA; 3Department of Health and Exercise Science, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC; 4Department of Exercise Science and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC; 5Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC; 6Evercare, Hartford, CT; 7Center on Aging, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT; 8Departments of Health Research & Policy and Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; 9Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA; and 10Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA

Address for correspondence: Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D., FACSM, Director, John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, 150 Harrison Avenue, room 249, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111; E-mail: miriam.nelson@tufts.edu.

The first two authors were co-chairs of the expert panel; the other coauthors were members of the expert panel and are listed alphabetically.

©2007The American College of Sports Medicine