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.