Physical activity is vital for people aged 50 years and over to assist their physical and mental health and help them remain independent as they age. Physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of ill health among senior Australians. Being physically active can reduce risk of death and illness from a range of causes including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, colon and breast cancers, dementia and depression.
This study revealed that only a minority of senior Australians were meeting the recommended level of physical activity to gain health benefits (as per national guidelines). One quarter of seniors were actually inactive, that is they did not do any physical activity.
As Australia’s population continues to age, it will be very important to encourage seniors to be more physically active to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia and mental illness, and improve their overall quality of life. Not only can sufficient physical activity have individual benefits, it can also lower the healthcare costs associated with an ageing population.