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Physical Activity Guidelines in the United Kingdom


United Kingdom

Official Name of Policy or Guidelines:

Guidelines on the promotion of physical activity with older people.

Name(s) of Organizations that created policy or guidelines:

British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health, Loughborough University.

Year of Publication:


Brief Description:

This comprehensive document is divided intro five sections that address the benefits of physical activity in later life, the recommended amounts and types of exercise, how to translate the recommendations into meaningful messages, a review of the evidence-based guidelines for physical activity, and supporting materials. Building up to at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise (e.g., walking, swimming, cycling, water exercise) on most, if not all, days of the week. Two-to-three days a week of strength training, with a day of rest between workouts, is recommended for the maintenance of muscle and bone health. Steadily increasing the intensity (amount lifted) is recommended if the goal is to improve strength. Specific guidelines relative to number of repetitions and sets to be performed in the area of strength training are setting-specific (fitness center, home). Performing balance, agility, coordination, and reaction time exercises is recommended for those older adults experiencing difficulties in these areas. No recommendations are provided for maintaining or improving flexibility.

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A document presenting evidence of the relationship between physical activity and health geared toward policy makers and program administrators.

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