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Physical Activity for an Aging Population

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Abstract

Physical activity has been identified as one of three key health behaviors impacting the major chronic diseases of aging that are increasingly responsible for a substantial proportion of global mortality. Although the scientific evidence indicates that the health and quality of life effects of a physically active lifestyle extend across the life course, midlife and older adults represent the most inactive portion of the population. Among the objectives of this review are to discuss the benefits of an active lifestyle, particularly for older adults; highlight the major issues and challenges currently facing the physical activity and aging field; and explore the types of directions for science, policy, and practice that could positively impact the significant physical inactivity challenge facing a growing number of countries worldwide.

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Correspondence to Abby C. King PhD.

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Recommended Citation: King A, King D. Physical Activity for an Aging Population. Public Health Reviews. 2010;32:401–26.

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Key words

  • Physical activity
  • aging
  • older adults
  • prevention
  • ecological