Go to in motion Home Page Youth Do It Adults Do It Older Adults Do It Do It at Work Doctors Do It Do It For Diabetes  
Benefits Events / News Fit Facts / Research Where to be Active Sign Up for Mail Your Walking Workout Contact Site Map FAQ Links
   
  in motion Older Adults
  Benefits for Older Adults
  Fit Facts for Older Adults
  Great Ideas for Older Adults
  Your Walking Workout
  FAQ
  Links

Fit Facts For Older Adults

  • 39% of adults in Canada aged 65 years and older are overweight; an additional 13% are considered obese.1
  • In Canada, approximately one in four women and one in eight men over 50 years of age have osteoporosis.2
  • Osteoporosis can lead to painful fractures, disability, and deformity.2, 3
  • One of the risk factors for osteoporosis is low amounts of physical activity.2
  • 70% of fall-induced injuries in older adults are bone fractures. These injuries are the most costly to the healthcare system.3

Activity Facts:

  • The most popular physical activities among Canadian adults aged 20 years and older are walking for exercise, gardening and yard work, home exercise, swimming, and bicycling.4
  • Physical activity decreases with age.4, 5, 6
  • By age 75, approximately one in three men and one in two women engage in no physical activity.7
  • In 1999, approximately $2.1 billion of the total direct costs to Canada’s healthcare system were attributable to physical inactivity.8
  • A 10% reduction in the prevalence of physical inactivity among the Canadian population might reduce direct healthcare expenditures by $150 million per year.8
  • Older adults can benefit from regular physical activity and the activities don’t have to be strenuous for the accruement of health benefits.9
  • Previously sedentary older adults who begin physical activity programs should start with short intervals of moderate physical activity (5-10 minutes) and gradually build up to the desired amount.10
  • Older adults should consult with a physician before beginning a new physical activity program.10
  • Social support from family and friends has been consistently and positively related to regular participation in physical activity.1, 11

Benefits of Activity:

  • Reduces the risk of dying from coronary heart disease and of developing high blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes.12, 13
  • Associated with lower resting blood pressure and can help reduce blood pressure in some people with hypertension.13
  • Moderate and vigorous levels of activity are associated with a reduced risk of suffering from a stroke.14, 15
  • Associated with glucose stability and might contribute to the prevention of glucose intolerance.13, 16
  • Can improve cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength, and body fat.17
  • Helps maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.18
  • Helps maintain the ability to live independently and reduces the risk of falling and fracturing bones.19, 20, 21
  • Has been seen to help reduce the risk of decline in cognitive functioning.22
  • Positively associated with visual attention skills in older adults.23
  • Reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression and fosters improvements in mood and feelings of well-being.24
  • Has been seen to help in reductions of pain associated with aging and chronic disabilities.25
  • In addition to cardio-respiratory endurance (aerobic) activity, older adults can also benefit from muscle-strengthening activities. Stronger muscles help reduce the risk of falling and improve the ability to perform routine tasks of daily life.26
  • There is a strong, positive association between total lean body weight and bone mineral density in older adults, particularly among males.27

Sources

Your Walking Workout

Sponsers