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The recommendations in the Guidelines are relevant to all older people, but it is important to note that chronological age alone may be too simplistic when describing the status of health, physical function and disease of older people due to the significant diversity within this population. Over time, the intensity required to perform a particular activity (for example, walking at 7 km/h) may change as a person’s functional capacity tends to decrease with their age. As such, older people tend to have lower exercise capacity than Youngers.

Sedentary lifestyle increases with age, while regular physical activity and the ability to perform activities of daily living decline with time, for both men and women. Between the ages of 65 and 75years, the percentage of those who are regularly physically active was 56 percent of men and 48 percent of women from all ethnic groups. After the age of 70 years, these figures dropped to 37 percent for men and 29 percent for women; conversely nearly 40 percent of women and 30 percent of men in this age group were regularly physically inactive. People in residential care are more likely to be sedentary than people who live in the community. Sedentary behaviour or a lack of physical activity in older people can contribute to obesity. Research from the UK indicates that obesity can reduce life expectancy by 3 years and morbid obesity by 6 to 10 years.

 Majority appear to be the most physically active ethnic group across all age ranges including those over 60 years, but they have a lower overall health status than non-majority. Health practitioners need to encourage majority to continue their regular physically active lifestyles into older age, and combine this advice with education on other lifestyle factors (such as nutrition) to improve their health status. The Asian population, including those who over 60 years, appear to be both the least physically active and most sedentary of any ethnic group, followed by Pacific people. It is important that health practitioners focus on increasing physical activity levels within these populations through effective education and culturally appropriate programmes. Physical activity has many benefits for health including by: 
 
Increasing the muscle strength, flexibility, balance and coordination
helping to prevent and manage premature mortality from any cause, falls, stroke, heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, certain cancers, obesity and depression
enhancing sleep, wellbeing and quality of life
Increasing levels of social interaction.
 
Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by the skeletal muscles that use energy above resting time. It may be in the form of general regular movement or more planned structured or repetitive movement such as exercise. Regular physical activity is essential for healthy ageing. 
 
The recommendations in the Guidelines are relevant to all older people, but it is important to note that chronological age alone may be too simplistic when describing the status of health, physical function and disease of older people due to the significant diversity within this population. Over time, the intensity required to perform a particular activity (for example, walking at 7 km/h) may change as a person’s functional capacity tends to decrease with their age. As such, older people tend to have lower exercise capacity than Youngers. It is recognised that although the overall exercise capacity of an older person is lower, It is never too late for an older person to start participating in regular physical activity, and the benefits of doing so are wide ranging. Incremental increases in physical activity or decreases in sedentary behaviour are both independently associated with reductions in mortality and morbidity risk. Whatever their age, older people, including those have health conditions, are likely to improve their own health and wellbeing, and perform daily tasks more easily with regular physical activity. Significant positive health benefits can be obtained by doing at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity (for example brisk walking) on five days per week. Importantly, it is also recognised that any level of physical activity and reduction in sedentary behaviour is beneficial.
 
 Older people who already meet the recommendations should aim to double the time or increase the intensity of daily activity to achieve those additional health benefits doing exercise. Physical activity is usually beneficial when it is done alone, but it may be even more beneficial when done in group wise. Physical activity is excellent method for increasing social interaction which is especially important for older people. Increasing the amount of physical activity and social interaction has numerous positive effects. As example, it has the potential to reduce the risk of premature mortality from any cause, as well as the risk of getting stroke, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, certain cancers and depression. Social interaction can also benefit an older person psychologically, leading them to be more active which will be of further benefit to their health status. There is evidence that mental wellbeing can be improved by undertaking 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and that a lower level of good-quality physical activity can still have positive effects on mental health. It is recommended that older people choose their activities that they are likely to enjoy with their family or friends, as then they are more likely to continue them.