Physical activity, ageing and health

  • Northern Ireland
  • Republic of Ireland

6th June 2014, CARDI

Dr Elaine Murtagh

Older people are missing out on the potential physical and cognitive benefits associated with exercise according to new research. The study, funded by CARDI, led by Dr Elaine Murtagh, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, examined the relationship between health and physical activity among older people using official datasets. The resulting report underlines the importance of remaining active as we age. It also highlights the need to develop innovative programmes to encourage those who are most inactive including older women to take up some physical activity.

Read the research brief here: Physical activity, ageing and health.pdf

Read the full report here

Key Findings:

  • A weekly level of 150 minutes of moderate to high intensity physical activity is recommended for older adults*.
  • Only 37% of 60-64 year olds in the Republic of Ireland and 22% in Northern Ireland get enough physical activity.
  • Physical activity declines with age: adults aged 75+ years are on average 2.5 times more likely than 60-64 year olds to be insufficiently active.
  • Women are on average 75% less likely to be sufficiently active than men.

*National Guidelines on Physical Activity (Department of Health and Children/Health Service Executive, 2009)