On May 1st, 2001 in Washington D.C., a coalition of national organizations released a major national planning document in the area of aging and physical activity. The National Blueprint: Increasing Physical Activity Among Adults Aged 50 and Older has been developed to serve as a guide for multiple organizations, associations and agencies, to inform and support their planning work related to increasing physical activity among America’s aging population. This Blueprint is intended to outline broad strategies that will lead to increasing physical activity among older Americans. The plan was developed with input from more than 60 individuals, representing 46 organizations with expertise in health, medicine, social and behavioral sciences, epidemiology, gerontology/geriatrics, clinical science, public policy, marketing, medical systems, community organization, and environmental issues.
The Blueprint concludes that there is a substantial body of scientific evidence which indicates that regular physical activity can bring dramatic health benefits to people of all ages and abilities, and that this benefit extends over the entire life-course. Increasingly, evidence indicates that physical activity offers one of the greatest opportunities to extend years of active independent life, reduce disability, and improve the quality of life for older persons.
A major goal of the Blueprint is to identify the principal barriers to physical activity participation in older adults and to outline strategies for increasing physical activity levels throughout the population. The Blueprint identifies specific needs in the areas of research, home and community programs, workplace settings, medical systems, public policy and advocacy, and crosscutting issues.
The Blueprint recognizes that there is significant interest and enthusiasm among health care organizations, health providers, aging service organizations, the private sector, government, nonprofit, and philanthropic organizations to work collaboratively to support increased physical activity in older Americans. Effective efforts to increase physical activity among older adults will require an integrated and collaborative approach across delivery channels, and among areas of professional expertise.
The Blueprint is in the public domain and may be freely copied and distributed.