Physical activity, cardiometabolic health and older adults: recent findings

Sports Med. 1999 Nov;28(5):315-23. doi: 10.2165/00007256-199928050-00003.


Cardiometabolic disease is a major cause of disability and death among older people. The scientific evidence purporting the cardiometabolic health benefits of moderate intensity, habitual physical activity among older adults has grown in recent years. Regular, moderate intensity physical activity is associated with lower resting blood pressure, less abdominal adiposity, improved blood lipids-lipoproteins and glucose homeostasis and reduced mortality and morbidity from coronary heart disease. Although more vigorous intensity exercise confers similar cardiometabolic health benefits, it predisposes older people to increased risk of injury and sudden death. Older adults prefer to engage in light to moderate intensity physical activities such as walking and activities of daily living. For these reasons, a cardiometabolic approach to exercise prescription is presented emphasising daily accumulated, familiar and enjoyable light to moderate intensity, aerobic physical activity supplemented by resistive exercise for the functionally able older adult.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*


  • Cholesterol, HDL