Most seniors do not meet the bare minimum to remain healthy and independent
A UBC professor is trying to fix the disconnect when it comes to the amount of physical activity people older than 65 get on a regular basis.
Asst. Prof Gareth Jones, who teaches in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at UBC’s Okanagan campus, says according to Statistics Canada fewer than 12 per cent of people 65 or older meet the minimum physical activity requirements to maintain health.
“It’s really quite sad,” says Jones. “We have developed physical activity guidelines and resources, but we haven’t gone far enough to figure out how to give this information effectively to the end users—this particular population group. It’s gut-wrenching that we have all these wonderful resources and really we haven’t been able to improve the physical activity levels for this age group during the past 10 years.”
The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for those 65 or older suggest a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise each week, plus at least two days of resistance training to strengthen muscle and bone. That is the absolute minimum that is recommended, says Jones.
There is a definite connection for people in this age group between physical activity and creating a level of protection from chronic disease, frailty and disability, says Jones. At this stage in life, meeting the established physical activity guidelines is crucial for maintaining health and physical independence.
Read More: UBC Okanagan News