The UK wide Chief Medical Officer report "Start Active, Stay Active" (Department of Health 2011) provides guidance for physical activity levels across the lifecourse. It also highlights the health benefits which include addressing obesity and mental health issues for a particular age group. This guidance draws on an extensive evidence base including two recent large scale systematic reviews from the US (US Department of Health and Human Studies, 2008) and Canada (Warburton, et al. 2010) plus latest World Health Organisation guideline (World Health Organization, 2010). The guidance was compiled by an advisory working group of experts in the field of physical activity and health.
The following section presents relevant recommendations and health benefits from this guidance and suggest ways that dance can meet health needs across the lifecourse.
Older People (65+ years) Recommendations:
Older adults should aim to be active daily.
Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more.
Older adults at risk of falls should incorporate physical activity to improve balance and co-ordination on at least two days a week.
Older adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week.
Benefits to health are:
Helps maintain cognitive function.
Reduces cardiovascular risk.
Helps maintain ability to carry out daily living activities.
Improves mood and can improve self-esteem.
Reduces the risk of falls.