Role of Physical Activity in Older Adults' Quality of Life

Authored by: Steriani Elavsky , Edward McAuley

Routledge Handbook of Physical Activity and Mental Health

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415782999
eBook ISBN: 9780203132678
Adobe ISBN: 9781136477805


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At the forefront of gerontological science is the promotion of successful aging, the foundation of which is maintaining quality of life (QOL). Accordingly, extending the quality of years lived is an integral part of extending lifespan. The urgency of helping older adults maintain high QOL has become evident in light of the changing US demographics. The life expectancy has been increasing steadily over a number of decades and an average American is now expected to live to 78.3 years of age. Currently, there are 38.9 million adults 65 years of age and older in the United States, accounting for 13% of the total population, but this number is projected to grow to 88.5 million by the year 2050 when older adults are expected to comprise 20% of the total US population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008, 2011).

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