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Physical activity recommendations for older Australians


Dr Jane Sims, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University. Email:


Aim:  The aim of this research was to produce evidence-based recommendations on physical activity designed to improve and maintain the health of older Australians.

Methods:  The authors reviewed existing guidelines and consensus statements, systematic reviews, meta-analyses and research articles. Draft recommendations were circulated to stakeholder agencies and to an expert advisory group. Final recommendations were then forwarded to the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing for Ministerial approval.

Results:  The physical activity recommendations for older Australians complement the current National Physical Activity Guidelines for adults and the American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association recommendations for older adults. The recommendations provide advice developed specifically for older Australians.

Conclusion:  Although the recommendations may be manifested in different ways, according to specific populations or settings, they apply to older people across all levels of health and have application to community dwelling people and those in residential care accommodation.