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Older Adults Log More Physical Activity

by Ryan Halvorson on May 17, 2012

Making News

When comparing physical activity levels of younger people to those of older people, it’s often assumed that the younger group wins out. This belief turns out to be incorrect, at least according to a recent survey by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)—a research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare company headquartered in London.

GSK surveyed 2,000 individuals, half of them aged 18–25 and the others aged 55 and older. A primary discovery was that, on average, the 55+ group engaged in 726 minutes of some sort of physical activity per week. The younger set averaged 28 minutes less active time per week than their older counterparts. Even so, 29% of the 55+ respondents felt that their long-term health conditions were barriers to physical activity, and for that reason they avoided it. The other barrier—said 30% of respondents—was the British weather.

While the activity data are promising, several British organizations believe they can be improved. Seven patient groups across Great Britain and Northern Ireland have teamed up to support Your Personal Best, a campaign aimed at inspiring 7.78 million people aged 55 and older with long-term health conditions to increase their activity levels. GSK has targeted healthcare professionals to lead the charge, as many individuals with chronic conditions look to their physicians for guidance on physical activity.

“Encouraging the inactive to be more active, particularly those with long term health conditions, is an ongoing challenge for those working in general practice,” said Hamzah Baig, MD, medical director at GSK, in a press release. “Your Personal Best aims to help patients to set personal and realistic activity goals to achieve their personal best by engaging in a range of lifestyle activities, from gardening to DIY or walking the dog.”

To learn more about this campaign, visit


Older Adults

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About the Author

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson IDEA Author/Presenter

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor.