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The 2008 World Congress on Aging and Physical Activity

By Kiyoji Tanaka, PhD, Chairman, University of Tsukuba, Japan

The 7th World Congress on Aging and Physical Activity was held in Tsukuba, Japan, from July 26-29, 2008. The theme for the 2008 World Congress was "Active Aging: Focus on Longevity and Physical Activity." In attendance were more than 500 professionals, including fitness scientists, exercise gerontologists, sports medicine specialists, and health and leisure professionals, from 26 countries including Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, and Brazil.

Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko

Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, PhD, president of the International Coalition of Aging and Physical Activity, presented the plenary lecture called "Physical activity and quality of life in older adults: What we know and what we have yet to learn." In this lecture, he emphasized the importance of creating a sound environment for promoting various physical activities. Next, Takao Suzuki of Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology gave a presentation called "Secular changes of physical function among the community-dwelling-elderly people in Japan."

On the second day, Debra Rose, Ph.D., from California State University, Fullerton, gave a keynote lecture on how to prevent falls among older adults. Taina Rantanen of the Finnish Center for Interdisciplinary Gerontology and Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, gave an excellent keynote lecture on genetic and behavioral factors and disability in old age.

The keynote addresses on the third day were "Effective exercise interventions for active aging" by Michael Rogers, Ph.D., from Wichita State University, and "Nutrition and longevity in Japan" by Hiroshi Shibata from the graduate school of Orbirin University in Japan. On the fourth and final day, the Congress chairman, Kiyoji Tanaka, Ph.D., professor at the University of Tsukuba, presented a lecture called "Age brilliantly: People with chronic diseases may stay younger when appropriately treated in a sound exercise program." The final keynote was given by Gareth Jones, Ph.D., of the University of British Columbia-Okanagan. He presented on Canada’s contributions to aging and physical activity research.

In total, 8 plenary lectures, 8 symposia, 7 workshops, 74 oral presentations, and 195 poster presentations were given. In addition to the scientific presentations, special exhibition programs (including tai chi exercises, gymnastic exercises, and muscle training for patients with various chronic diseases) were well attended by Congress participants.

The 2008 World Congress was an outstanding meeting, with a significant focus on the importance of physical activity for keeping good health and enjoying our lives, thereby maintaining good quality of life.

For more information on specific sessions presented at the 2008 World Congress, please review the 2008 JAPA abstracts.


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