National physical activity recommendations for older Australians: Discussion Document


The National Ageing Research Institute was commissioned by The Department of Health and Ageing to review the evidence and develop physical activity recommendations for older people.

Page last updated: 01 February 2011

ADL: Activities of daily living

Aged care staff: includes non-professional staff such as care assistants, and professional staff such as registered nurses, general practitioners, and allied health staff (for example: social workers, physiotherapists, diversional therapists, podiatrists, pastoral care workers, music therapists). Volunteers may provide aspects of care or play a role in supporting residents and/or their families.

AGREE: Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation

BMI: Body Mass Index

BP: Blood pressure

CATI: Computer assisted telephone interview

CHD: Coronary heart disease

CHF: Congestive heart failure

CI: Confidence interval

Clinical practice guidelines: Statements guiding the practice of health care practitioners that are developed from the collation and synthesis of the available evidence for the effective management of those with specific diseases or clinical conditions (National Health and Medical Research Council [NHMRC], 1999). These guidelines have the potential to aid in health care decision making and quality improvement, describe care that is fitting, and focus on particular circumstances while taking into account the specific care context.

Connectivity: The directness or ease of travel between two points that is directly related to the characteristics of street design.

COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

CLDB (Culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds): ‘Persons born overseas in countries where English is not the main language spoken’ (Gibson, Braun et al. 2001)pg 1.

CVD: Cardiovascular disease

DALYs: Disability adjusted life years

Delphi survey process: A technique used to elicit opinions with the goal of obtaining a group response from a panel of experts

FM: Fat mass

Geographical information systems: Computer based systems designed to integrate different types of spatial and attribute information. Data relevant to physical activity includes topography, geological feature, existing land uses, infrastructure systems, recreation facilities and residences

Hazard ratio: A statistical term describing the relative risk of a complication (eg colorectal cancer) based on comparison of event rates between two groups categorised by presence or absence of a predictor variable (eg previous physically active or not).

IHD: Ischemic heart disease

IRM: One repetition maximum – an indication of current muscle strength in a particular muscle group, used as a basis for determining the weight that should be lifted in a strength training program (usually a percentage of the 1RM).

Land-use mix is the level of integration within a given area of different types of uses for physical space, including residential, office, retail/commercial and public space.

LDL-cholesterol: low density lipoprotein cholesterol
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Moderate level physical activities is physical activity at a level that causes your heart to beat faster and some shortness of breath, but that you can still talk comfortably while doing.

NHPA: National Health Priority Area

OA: Osteoarthritis

OR: Odds ratio

Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention: Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention refer to health promoting activity, early disease detection and management, and treatment of established disease respectively.

PRT: Progressive resistance training

PTSD: Post traumatic stress disorder

RCT: Randomised controlled trial

Residential aged care: The care provided for residents of aged care facilities. Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs), previously known as nursing homes and hostels, provide personal care, support services, allied health services, and accommodation for elderly people assessed by Aged Care Assessment Teams to be in need of such care and services. ACFs provide high level care, which includes 24-hour access to professional nursing care; low level care, where access to professional nursing care is more limited; or a combination of both high and low level care

Residential aged care worker: Any person providing care in a residential aged care facility. This term will cover professional staff, non-professional staff, and volunteers.

Residential density the number of dwellings per unit of land.

ROM: Range of motion

RR: Rate ratio

SEPA: Supportive Environments for Physical Activity
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National physical activity recommendations for older Australians: Discussion Document(PDF 1160 KB)