Exercise and older patients: guidelines for the clinician

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2000 Mar;48(3):318-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2000.tb02654.x.


Sedentary persons who improve their physical fitness are less likely to die of all causes and of cardiovascular disease than are those who remain sedentary. There now exists a wealth of data demonstrating that physical activity and exercise may ameliorate disease and delay decline in function in the geriatric population. We review evidence that exercise can improve body composition, diminish falls, increase strength, reduce depression, reduce arthritis pain, reduce risks for diabetes and coronary artery disease, and improve longevity. However, many healthcare professionals do not feel adequately prepared to design and prescribe exercise programs for their patients. This review provides a basic overview of the benefits of exercise in the geriatric population and guidelines indicating how to prescribe and facilitate adherence to an exercise program. Healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to promote a less sedentary life style for their older patients, which may augment quality of life in these older individuals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Aging / psychology
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Depression / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Longevity
  • Male
  • Motivation