Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NUTRITION, EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY, AND SARCOPENIA

Location: Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging

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

Authors
item Nelson, Miriam - TUFTS UNIVERSITY, MA
item Rejeski, W. Jack - WAKE FOREST UNIV
item Blair, Steven - UNIV OF SOUTH CAROLINA
item Duncan, Pamela - DUKE UNIVERSITY
item Judge, James - EVERCARE & UNIV OF CONN
item King, Abby - STANFORD UNIV
item Macera, Carol - SAN DIEGO STATE UNIV
item Castaneda-Sceppa, Carmen

Submitted to: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2007
Publication Date: August 1, 2007
Citation: Nelson, M.E., Rejeski, W., Blair, S.N., Duncan, P.W., Judge, J.O., King, A.C., Macera, C.A., 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. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 39(8):1435-1445.

Interpretive Summary: A panel of experts in the areas of public health, behavioral science, epidemiology, exercise science, medicine, and gerontology worked on behalf of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) to update the existing recommendation regarding physical activity for older adults. The panel relied on primary research articles and literature reviews, as well as the recently developed updated recommendation on physical activity for adults from the ACSM/AHA to create these recommendations. This article outlines the final recommendation on physical activity for older adults created by the panel. It suggests that the promotion of physical activity in older adults should emphasize moderate-intensity aerobic activity, muscle-strengthening activity, reducing sedentary behavior, and risk management. While this recommendation is similar to the ACSM/AHA recommendation for adults, it does have several key differences including achieving recommended physical activity that integrates preventive and therapeutic recommendations and including balance exercises for older adults at risk for falls.

Technical Abstract: 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.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page