Physical activity patterns in adults

The BHF National Centre has produced two new fact sheets on physical activity patterns among adults in Scotland and Wales. These latest resources provide up-to-date facts and figures on physical activity behaviours.

They pull together all the latest statistics from national surveys to provide a picture of how active adults in Scotland and Wales are. These fact sheet includes information on:
• the numbers of adults in different age groups meeting the Government’s physical activity guidelines
• statistics on outdoor recreation
• data on personal travel
• sedentary behaviour patterns

Download: Physical activity patterns – Adults in Scotland and Wales

International Council on Active Aging

The International Council on Active Aging was founded in the belief that unifying the efforts of the organizations focused on older adults benefits both the people they reach and the organizations themselves.

The ICAA Research Review Newsletter Vol. 12, No. 42 can be downloaded below


Perspectives is a newsletter for individuals with Alzheimer's or a related disorder, published by the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Centre in San Diego, the Summer 2012 edition can be downloaded below

UK CMO Guidelines on physical activity for older adults

To coincide with the opening of WCAA 2012, the BHF National Centre has published interpretation documents on the UK CMO Guidelines on physical activity for older adults. All three can be downloaded at, and are also provided for your convenience below.

It is a series of three booklets designed to assist those who work with older people to interpret the UK Chief Medical Officers’ physical activity guidelines which were introduced in July 2011.

For the first time these guidelines provided recommendations for the amount of physical activity older people over 65 should be doing to benefit their health. The guidelines were designed for use by practitioners so these BHFNC interpretation booklets have been designed to help translate these into messages appropriate for older people. The three booklets are designed to reflect the differences among the older population -- Extend's client base.

ICAA research review

Funtional U® is a newsletter from the ICAA. This edition contains an interesting article on exercise for people with arthritis (page 5) and a client handout regarding physical activity for arthritis (page 20). ICAA Funtional U® Nov-Dec 2011

Motivating and sustaining older adults in exercise classes

Regular and appropriate exercise training has been shown to improve the functional abilities and overall well-being of both healthy older adults and older adults with complex health conditions (Stead et al, 1997). However, engaging older adults in physical activity is a difficult task. There is often a general acceptance of physical deterioration and therefore a reluctance to consider preventative measures (Stead et al, 1997). Even when older adults initiate exercise they will often discontinue their involvement within the first 6 months (Robinson and Rogers, 1994).

No single factor predicts whether an older adult might consider and then continue with an exercise programme. A range of factors, often unique to the individual, determines participation they have been described as personal characteristics, environmental characteristics and programme characteristics (Laventure and Skelton, 2007). Programme characteristics might include design and delivery of the class and your interpersonal skills (Laventure and Skelton 2007, Dinan 2001). These are factors, which are within your control as an instructor.

Both your commitment to your classes and your interaction with your participants has a huge impact on your participant’s involvement and enjoyment of exercise. However, little is known about how many qualified Level 3 older people instructors are delivering exercise classes to older people in the U.K. What types of classes you are delivering and your characteristics. We have tried to find out more about this, in the hope that a greater understanding of your role can help to improve the uptake and maintenance of classes by older adults.

Thanks to your participation in a U.K wide survey we have collected information about a range of instructors and classes. This will enable us to choose a smaller sample to work with in more depth. 788 instructors with a range of level 3 qualifications have completed the survey and 374 of these were EXTEND instructors making you the most well represented group of instructors! Currently we are in the process of cleaning and analysing the data and looking at recruitment to the second phase of the study. Can we thank your participation so far and also the in-depth additional information that so many of you have shared.

Helen Hawley - Postgraduate Researcher


Laventure, R, Skelton, DA. (2007) Breaking down the barriers: Strategies to motivate the older client to begin and sustain exercise participation. Fitness Professionals Magazine. Sept; 42-43.
McAuley, E. (1993). Self-efficacy and the maintenance of exercise participation in older adults. Journal of Behavioral Medicine 16(1): 103-113.
Robinson, J.L. Rogers, M.A. (1994) Adherence to exercise programs: Recommendations. Sports Medicine, 17, 39-52.
Stead, M. Wimbush, E. Eadie, D. Teer, P (1997) A Qualitative Study of Older People’s Perceptions of Ageing and Exercise: The Implications for Health Promotion. Health Education Journal. 56 (3) 3-16.
Yardley, L. Donovan-Hall, M. Francis, C. Todd, C (2007). Attitudes and beliefs that predict older people’s intention to undertake strength and balance training. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 2: 199-225.