Improving the health of adults over 50, through physical activity
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How To Prescribe Physical Activity Programs

The Active Aging Toolkit is designed to help healthcare providers prescribe physical activity programs for older adults. Older adult focus group participants were more likely to start and follow through with an exercise plan if their doctors recommended it. Healthcare providers should:
  1. Provide concrete and consistent information
  2. Make recommendations that are clear & consistent
  3. Recognize obstacles that people face in beginning & maintaining a physical activity program.
Download the complete Active Aging Toolkit white paper here. (PDF 355KB)

Download the Provider Manual here. (PDF 224KB)

The following tools are recommended to assist healthcare providers prescribe physical activity:
  • Assess current physical activity levels and incorporate behavioral strategies to increase physical activity into daily practice when interacting with older adults.
  • Use assessment tools to determine the risk, ability, and most appropriate physical activity prescription for your patient.
  • Prescribe an evidence-based, individualized program for each patient such as the First Step to Active Health®. Programs should include cardiorespiratory, strength, flexibility, and balance activities.
  • Review the contents of the individualized activity program with each patient. Inform patients how to progress their programs, and follow-up with the patient by having patients complete the physical activity logs.
  • Use guidelines to modify programs for special populations.
  • Use resources to refer patients to other professionals or sources of information, particularly in your local community.

As a healthcare provider, your FIRST STEP is to begin here:
How to assess and recommend physical activity levels

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