Physical Activity

Physical activity promotes endurance, strength, balance and mobility

The broad benefits of physical activity for older people and its association with improved longevity and quality of life are well documented. People who are physically active are generally healthier than those who are inactive: they have lower levels of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, better general health and vitality, a lower risk of falling, better cognitive functioning and reduced levels of depression and other mental health issues.

People tend to become progressively less active as they get older, and levels of vigorous activity decrease with age, though moderate activity and walking increases. Nevertheless, it is never too late to take up a new activity and there are real benefits for doing so: it can slow the physical decline associated with ageing, prevent the onset of several diseases and actually help alleviate some of the consequences of diseases.

Physical activities combined with social activities are particularly good for health, and activities suited to older people may include walking, cycling, all kinds of games, tai-chi and planned exercise in daily, family and community life.