Guidelines on Physical Activity for Older People (aged 65 years and over)

Published online: 
30 January 2013
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The Guidelines on Physical Activity for Older People gives five key recommendations to help older people live longer, healthier lives. These recommendations are:

  • be as physically active as possible and limit sedentary behaviour
  • consult an appropriate health practitioner before starting or increasing physical activity
  • start off slowly and build up to the recommended daily physical activity levels
  • aim to increase physical activity on five days per week for at least 30 minutes if the activity is of moderate-intensity; 15 minutes if it is of vigorous-intensity; or a mixture of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
  • aim to do three sessions of flexibility and balance activities, and two sessions of muscle-strengthening activities per week.

The Guidelines outline:

  • physical activity: the benefits, risks, types and dimensions of physical activity for older people
  • physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour: the risks of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour, older people who do not meet recommended activity levels, Green Prescriptions and older people who are frail
  • New Zealand population profile: physical activity among older New Zealanders, safety, and factors that enable and act as barriers to physical activity
  • physical activity for preventing and managing chronic (long-term) health conditions, and for enhancing general health.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    30 January 2013
  • ISBN:
    978-0-478-40241-4 (online)
  • HP number:
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2013. Guidelines on Physical Activity for Older People (aged 65 years and over). Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:

    Third-party content. Please check the document or email the Web Manager to find out how to obtain permission to re-use content.

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