Prevalence of physical activity behaviour in older people: Findings from the Dynamic Analyses to Optimise Ageing (DYNOPTA) project and Australian national survey data

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Abstract

Aim:

Many older people lead sedentary lives. National Health Survey physical activity prevalence data provide limited coverage of the ‘old old’ (≥75 years).

Method:

The Dynamic Analyses to Optimise Ageing (DYNOPTA) project's dataset provided physical activity data for 13 420 participants. Physical activity (walking, moderate- and vigorous-intensity activities in the previous week) was measured. Data were weighted and prevalence was calculated.

Results:

The frequency of walking in DYNOPTA was similar to that in the national sample. Walking remained relatively stable until a decline among persons aged 80 years and over; moderate and vigorous activity declined in all but a minority of persons aged 70 years and over. Although DYNOPTA participants reported more physical activity than those in the contemporary national survey, the rates of sedentary behaviour were high.

Conclusion:

We require more information about the ‘oldest old’ (85+ years). There is great scope for increasing physical activity, even walking, among older people.

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