On April 4 and 5, 2000, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation hosted a "Technical Experts Working Group Meeting on Physical Activity and Mid-life and Older Adults" in Nashville, Tennessee. The 23 participants (representing science and medicine, public health, aging services, communications, academia, government, and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) reviewed the current situation related to increasing physical activity among mid-life and older adults, discussed some of the most important gaps and opportunities for program development, and considered elements of effective interventions.
Discussion at the April 2000 technical experts meeting highlighted the fact that the issue of physical activity and the 50 and older population is currently under-addressed, is complex, is a difficult issue to undertake, and lacks adequate leadership. In addition, it is an issue that is poorly understood and widely unrecognized. Those organizations that have been working in the area of physical activity and the 50 and older population are often working in isolation. Efforts to address the issue have been diffuse, lacking adequate resources and communications channels.
Participants recommended that a national "blueprint" be developed to help guide and focus the work of the organizations that are involved, or interested in, physical activity among people age 50 and older, as well as to engage additional groups.
As an outcome of the Nashville meeting representatives of the AARP, the American College of Sports Medicine, American Geriatrics Society, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute on Aging and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation formed a Steering Committee and developed an agenda for a Blueprint Conference, which was held October 30-31, 2001. The conference provided a forum for the participating organizations to discuss and strategize ways to increase physical activity among the age 50 and older population. This document is the outcome report of that conference, and represents the work of the Steering Committee as well as the conference participants and expert reviewers.