Being Physically Active

Being Physically Active


Being physically active helps to keep your muscles and bones strong and lower your chance of having a fall. By staying fit and strong, it is easy to stay living independently in your own home.

Benefits of physical activity for older people:

  • maintain strong bones
  • keep your heart and lungs healthy
  • keep joints moving
  • improve strength and balance to help prevent falls and injuries
  • better mental health.

The information on this page is of a general nature. For older people with existing health conditions, it is a good idea to see your GP for a check-up before starting a physical activity.

Physical activity recommendations

How much physical activity do you need each day?

This poster gives you helpful tips on getting active and how much physical activity we should be aiming for each day.

Australia’s Physical Activity Recommendations for Older Australians (65 years and older)

  1. Older people should do some form of physical activity, no matter what their age, weight, health problems or abilities.
  2. Older people should be active every day in as many ways as possible, doing a range of physical activities that incorporate fitness, strength, balance and flexibility.
  3. Older people should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days.
  4. Older people who have stopped physical activity, or who are starting a new physical activity, should start at a level that is easily manageable and gradually build up the recommended amount, type and frequency of activity.
  5. Older people who continue to enjoy a lifetime of vigorous physical activity should carry on doing so in a manner suited to their capability into later life, provided recommended safety procedures and guidelines are adhered to.

Physical activity guide

Choose Health: Be Active – A physical activity guide for older Australians – this booklet includes activities you can try at home to be more physically active.

For an accessible version of the Choose Health: Be Active - A physical activity guide for older Australians, please contact the site administrator www.health.gov.au

Falls prevention

One in three people 65 years and over will fall each year. The good news is falls can be prevented. Here is some information to help prevent falls in older people:

Find more information and resources about falls prevention

For health and community services staff and volunteers

Appetite for Life manual

The Appetite for Life manual has simple and practical fact sheets to help older people be physically active.

Newsletter articles

Choose from a range of newsletter articles on being active for older people. These articles can be copied and pasted in your own service newsletter.

Being active in the community

Exercise groups for older people are a great way for people to stay active and connected in their community. Here are some examples:

Where to get help

If you have identified a client as having health or movement issues, you can refer them to a Community Physiotherapist for support:

For individual support to safely increase your physical activity and independence contact:

Link to Eating Well pageLink to Being physically active pageLink to Malnutrition Screening pageLink to Online training pageLink to Extreme heat page


Funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. Visit the Department of Health website (www.health.gov.au) for more information.

Although funding for this webpage has been provided by the Australian Government, the material contained herein does not necessarily represent the views or policies of the Australian Government.