Physical activity patterns and their relation with coronary heart disease risk factors are described for a representative sample of 863 Dutch men, 65-84 years old, who participated in the 1985 survey of the Zutphen cohort of the Seven Countries Study. Cross-sectional results revealed a median total of reported physical activity of about 1 hour and 20 minutes per day; only 5.8% reported no physical activity. The percentage of participation and total weekly time spent in physical activity decreased as age increased; the decrease was less pronounced for walking, bicycling, gardening, and doing odd jobs than for sports, hobbies, and work. Statistically significant mean differences were found among quartiles of total weekly physical activity for both total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL cholesterol); however, only the differences for HDL cholesterol remained significant (p = 0.045) after adjusting for potential confounders. Statistically significant regression coefficients (p less than 0.05) were found for the independent association between walking and total cholesterol and between gardening and total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure, after adjusting for confounders. Total weekly physical activity and specific activities, e.g., gardening and walking, demonstrated generally favorable associations with cholesterol and systolic blood pressure.