Increasing Physical Activity in Adults Age 50 and Older
In 2001, a coalition of national
organizations released a national planning document in the
area of aging and physical activity. The
National Blueprint: Increasing Physical Activity Among Adults
Aged 50 and Older was developed to serve as a guide
for multiple organizations, associations and agencies, to
inform and support their planning work related to increasing
physical activity among America's aging population.
“The Blueprint was designed to engage organizations
in multiple strategies geared toward increasing physical
activity among older Americans,” says Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko,
Ph.D., head of the Kinesiology Department at the University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Chodzko-Zajko directs
the National Blueprint Office with support from the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation.
Currently, the Blueprint partnership is made up
of 50 national organizations that have a shared interest
in increasing physical activity among Americans age 50 and
older. A key priority of the Blueprint Project is
to foster local partnerships among community organizations
and private sector agencies in the areas of health, environment,
transportation, and social services.
Major activities of the Blueprint Project include:
- October 2002 meeting of
partners to prioritize the Blueprint
strategies and to develop specific tactics in
the areas of home and community, marketing, medical systems,
public policy, and research. They selected 15 strategies
with an additional three strategies identified as "cross-cutting,"
relating to more than one of these areas. (Details on
the strategies are available at www.agingblueprint.org.)
- January 2004 meeting of partners
to discuss further ongoing activities related to carrying
out the Blueprint strategies.
- October 2005 meeting for partners
to identify strategies for engaging the aging network
and building private sector commitment.
“There is a substantial
body of scientific evidence which indicates that regular
physical activity can bring dramatic health benefits to
people of all ages and abilities, and that this benefit
extends over the entire life-course. Increasingly, evidence
indicates that physical activity offers one of the greatest
opportunities to extend years of active independent life,
reduce disability, and improve the quality of life for older
persons,” says Dr. Chodzko-Zajko.
Active for Life is part of
the National Blueprint and is responsible for the cross-cutting
strategy on developing a National Resource Clearinghouse