Are the Recommended Physical Activity Guidelines Practical and Realistic for Older People with Complex Medical Issues?

Pazit Levinger, Keith D. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The world population is aging. With increased life expectancy comes increased risk of major health problems that affect the health and well-being of older adults. Adequate levels of physical activity as specified by current global guidelines can reduce the risk of health problems in older adults. However, fewer than half of older adults are sufficiently active, and thus are unlikely to achieve these health benefits. Older adults living in residential aged care are even more sedentary, with multiple health issues and comorbidities. While meeting physical activity guidelines confers the greatest benefit for physical function, the practicality of adherence to these guidelines for older people who are not healthy and have complex medical issues is questionable. This special interest paper discusses research evidence on the topic of physical activity for older people across the health spectrum, with and without multiple comorbidities. This discussion is informed by professional experience, and suggests practical recommendations to positively impact physical activity engagement in the older adult population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-8
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Geriatric Physical Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • aged care facilities
  • exercise
  • frailty
  • older people
  • physical activity

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