EPA National Community Recognition Program
Scientific evidence indicates that regular physical activity can bring dramatic health benefits to people of all ages and abilities, and that these benefits extend over the entire life-course. Physical activity offers one of the greatest opportunities to extend years of active, independent life, reduce disability, and improve the quality of life of older adults.
Regular physical activity reduces the risk of dying prematurely and developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and colon cancer. It reduced feelings of depression and anxiety, helps control weight, helps maintain healthy bones and muscles, and promotes psychological well-being. Despite these health advantages, one-third of adults age 50+ live sedentary lives.
Physical activity should be an integral part of daily life. It is recommended that people of all ages participate in moderate physical activity, such as walking, for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, five times per week. To meet this recommendation, physical activity can be accumulated during the day, such as walking for 10 minutes three times daily.
An increasing number of communities are identifying goals for increasing physical activity levels among older adults in the community. Goals are written statements about what your group wants to accomplish. Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, and time specific. They can be long-term or short-term. Start by planning a vision of where you want to be in terms of physical activity in your community, then adding strategies and action steps to achieve your plan.
Internet Resources on Physical Activity and Aging
Internet Resources on Setting Goals
University of Kansas Community Toolbox
Analyzing Problems and Goals
New York State Department of Health
Setting Goals and Objectives