Shopping Basket 0
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.

HUMAN KINETICS

Policies and Guidelines

WHO - Heidelberg Guidelines for Promoting Physical Activity Among Older Persons

In 1996, the World Health Organization released the following guidelines specifically for promoting physical activity among older adults. These guidelines were developed to represent WHO’s endorsement of regular physical activity promotion for older adults.


Individual Benefits of Physical Activity for Older Persons: Physiological Benefits

Immediate benefits:

  • Glucose levels: Physical activity helps regulate blood glucose levels.
  • Catecholamine activity: Both adrenalin and noradrenalin levels are stimulated by physical activity.
  • Improved sleep: Physical activity has been shown to enhance sleep quality and quantity in individuals of all ages.

Long-term effects:

  • Aerobic/cardiovascular endurance: Substantial improvements in almost all aspects of cardiovascular functioning have been observed following appropriate physical training.
  • Resistive training/muscle strengthening: Individuals of all ages can benefit from muscle strengthening exercises. Resistance training can have a significant impact on the maintenance of independence in old age.
  • Flexibility: Exercise that stimulates movement throughout the range of motion assists in the preservation and restoration of flexibility.
  • Balance/coordination: Regular activity helps prevent and/or postpone the age-associated declines in balance and coordination, which are major risk factors for falls.
  • Velocity of movement: Behavioral slowing is a characteristic of advancing age. Individuals who are regularly active can often postpone these age-related declines.

 

Individual Benefits of Physical Activity for Older Persons: Psychological Benefits

Immediate benefits:

  • Relaxation: Appropriate physical activity enhances relaxation.
  • Reduces stress and anxiety: There is evidence that regular physical activity can reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Enhanced mood state: Numerous people report elevations in mood state following appropriate physical activity.

Long-term effects:

  • General well-being: Improvements in almost all aspects of psychological functioning have been observed following periods of extended physical activity.
  • Improved mental health: Regular exercise can make an important contribution in the treatment of several mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety neuroses.
  • Cognitive improvements: Regular physical activity may help postpone age-related declines in central nervous system processing speed and improve reaction time.
  • Motor control and performance: Regular activity helps prevent and/or postpone the age-associated declines in both fine and gross motor performance.
  • Skill acquisition: New skills can be learned and existing skills refined by all individuals regardless of age.


Individual Benefits of Physical Activity for Older Persons: Social Benefits

Immediate benefits:

  • Empowering older individuals: A large proportion of the older adult population voluntarily adopts a sedentary lifestyle, which eventually threatens to reduce independence and self-sufficiency. Participation in appropriate physical activity can help empower older individuals and assist them in playing a more active role in society.
  • Enhanced social and cultural integration: Physical activity programs, particularly when carried out in small groups and/or in social environments, enhance social and intercultural interactions for many older adults.

Long-term effects:

  • Enhanced integration: Regularly active individuals are less likely to withdraw from society and more likely to actively contribute to the social milieu.
  • Formation of new friendships: Participation in physical activity, particularly in small groups and other social environments, stimulates new friendships and acquaintances.
  • Widened social and cultural networks: Physical activity frequently provides individuals with an opportunity to widen available social networks.
  • Role maintenance and new role acquisition: A physically active lifestyle helps foster the stimulating environments necessary for maintaining an active role in society, as well as for acquiring positive new roles.
  • Enhanced intergenerational activity: In many societies, physical activity is a shared activity that provides opportunities for intergenerational contact thereby diminishing stereotypic perceptions about aging and the elderly.


Societal Benefits of Promoting Physical Activity for Older Persons

  • Reduced health and social care costs: Physical inactivity and sedentary living contribute to a decrease in independence and the onset of many chronic diseases. Physically active lifestyles can help postpone the onset of physical frailty and disease thereby significantly reducing health and social care costs.
  • Enhancing the productivity of older adults: Older individuals have much to contribute to society. Physically active lifestyles help older adults maintain functional independence and optimize the extent to which they are able to actively participate in society.
  • Promoting a positive and active image of older persons: A society that promotes a physically active lifestyle for older adults is more likely to reap the benefits of the wealth of experience and wisdom possessed by the older individuals in the community. A large proportion of the older adult population voluntarily adopts a sedentary lifestyle, which eventually threatens to reduce independence and self-sufficiency.

 


REFERENCES:



Share Facebook Reddit LinkedIn Twitter

Tools


Print Save to favorites


Related Topics


Active Aging History


Documents


WHO- Heidelberg Guidelines for Promoting Physical Activity Among Older Persons (pdf)
download now
Journal of Aging and Physical Activity article publishing the World Health Organization's Heidelberg Guidelines for Promoting Physical Activity Among Older Persons.

Get the latest news, special offers, and updates on authors and products. SIGN UP NOW!

Human Kinetics Rewards

About Our Products

Book Excerpts

Catalogs

News and Articles

About Us

Career Opportunities

Events

Partners

Business to Business

Author Center

HK Today Newsletter

Services

Exam/Desk Copies

Language rights translation

Association Management

Associate Program

Rights and Permissions

Featured Programs

Human Kinetics Coach Education

Fitnessgram

Fitness for Life

Active Living Every Day

Connect with Us

Google Plus YouTube Tumblr Pinterest

Terms & Conditions

/

Privacy Policy

/

Safe Harbor