Recent evidence shows that any form of physical activity, not just aerobic activity to improve cardiovascular fitness, can have significant health benefits. However, physical inactivity is increasingly widespread. Recent health promotion has emphasised the value of integrating activity into daily life, yet popular attention continues to focus on sporting excellence and team sports. Data from people in early and late middle age in the West of Scotland demonstrate that sporting and team activities are rarely undertaken throughout adult life, especially amongst women and people from more disadvantaged circumstances. The activities that are most commonly taken up and sustained throughout later adult life are walking, swimming, social dancing, keep fit/aerobics and golf. There is a need for greater emphasis, by all those in physical activity promotion, on activities which are the most likely to be sustained into adulthood.
- Older people