On June 27, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report showcasing evidence-based interventions to support physical activity among adults ages 65 years and older.
By the year 2030, 1 in every 5 Americans will be age 65 or over. More than 85 percent of older adults currently have at least 1 chronic health condition. The growing population of older adults can gain substantial health benefits and prevent or manage chronic disease by engaging in physical activity.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report: Implementation Strategies for Older Adults extends the work of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and provides details on how to help older adults achieve the recommended 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity and 2 days of muscle-strengthening physical activity each week.
“The immediate and long-term health benefits of engaging in regular physical activity are well documented. This is why it is so important for all Americans, including older Americans, to stay physically active,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to improving the health of all Americans, no matter their age. This report will help us support older adults in living physically active lives.”
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which serves as the primary, authoritative voice of the federal government for evidence-based guidance on physical activity, fitness, and health for Americans, are reviewed by experts every five years to evaluate a specific topic of importance. This iteration focuses on adults ages 65 and older.
“The mindset that physical activity is an individual responsibility is shifting, and progress to ensuring all Americans have the opportunity to be physically active requires a united effort. Everyone has a role to play,” said Adm Rachel Levine, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Health. “The Midcourse Report lays the foundation for a coordinated and cross-sectoral approach to make being active the easy and enjoyable choice for older adults.”
The Midcourse Report identifies strategies that policy makers, exercise and health professionals, clinicians, gerontologists, built environment professionals, local, state, territorial, and Tribal leaders, and others working with older adults can use in key settings to increase physical activity. It reinforces the message that physical activity can begin or restart at any age. Collaboration among these professionals is key to planning and implementing these strategies to connect older adults with safe opportunities to be physically active.
You can read the full Midcourse Report at Health.gov. For more information on the Guidelines and supporting materials, please visit https://health.gov/our-work/nutrition-physical-activity/physical-activity-guidelines.
The HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion encourages all Americans to lead healthy and active lives. We accomplish this by establishing and promoting national public health priorities, translating science into policy, guidance, and tools, and working to improve health literacy and equitable access to clear and actionable health information.