Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Compliance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization on the practice of physical activity in people over 65 years in Spain

Brais Boente-Antela, Raquel Leirós-Rodríguez, José Luis García-Soidán


Purpose: Identifying whether the recommendations of the WHO regarding the amount of weekly time dedicated to the practice of PA in its different modalities are being met in the population of people over 65 in Spain. Method: This study has used data provided by 1317 interviewees aged 65 to 69 years old included in the Spanish Health Survey. Results: 19.1% of the sample said to not walk any day of the week at least 10 minutes, being the 84.2% those who did, at least, 150 minutes per week. Concerning the accomplishment of intense and moderate physical activity generally, the general or optimal recommendations for the weekly time were not satisfied. The proportion of individuals that comply the recommendations, general and optimal, of physical activity moderate were 17.4% in both cases. Those percentages, regarding intense exercise, the percentage of individuals that comply with the recommendations are reduced to 6.6% and 2.4%, for general and optimal recommendations, respectively. Conclusion: The practice of moderate and intense exercise is not within the frequent habits of people over 65 years of age, and this phenomenon could be one of the causes of the increasing health demand in this country (regardless of whether it is of a sensitive sector to get sick from the ageing process).


Public health; Lifestyle; Aging; Walking; Sports


Aragao-Santos, J. C., de Resende-Neto, A. G., Nogueira, A. C., Feitosa-Neta, M. L., Brandao, L. H., Chaves, L. M., & da Silva-Grigoletto, M. E. (2019). The effects of functional and traditional strength training on different strength parameters of elderly women: A randomized and controlled trial. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 59(3), 380-386.

Bagrichevsky, M., & dos Santos, D. S. (2018). “Shameless” sedentarism: Individual responsibility for health? Psychology, 9(4), 760-772.

Baker, D. P., Smith, W. C., Muñoz, I. G., Jeon, H., Fu, T., Leon, J., ... Horvatek, R. (2017). The population education transition curve: Education gradients across population exposure to new health risks. Demography, 54(5), 1873-1895.

Beard, J. R., Officer, A., Araujo, I., Sadana, R., Margriet, A., Michel, J. P., … Chatterji, S. (2016). The world report on ageing and health: A policy framework for healthy ageing. The Lancet, 21(387), 2145-2154.

Castañeda-Abascal, I. E. (2014). The theoretical framework in health research with gender approach. Revista Cubana De Salud Pública, 40(2), 249-257.

Cole, T. J., Flegal, K. M., Nicholls, D., & Jackson, A. A. (2007). Body mass index cut offs to define thinness in children and adolescents: International survey. British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Ed.), 335(7612), 194.

Collard, R. M., Boter, H., Schoevers, R. A., & Oude Voshaar, R. C. (2012). Prevalence of frailty in Community‐Dwelling older persons: A systematic review. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60(8), 1487-1492.

Daly, R. (2017). Exercise and nutritional approaches to prevent frail bones, falls and fractures: An update. Climacteric, 20(2), 119-124.

del Pilar, M., Aguilar-Parra, J. M., López-Liria, R., Rocamora-Pérez, P., Vargas-Muñoz, M. E., & Padilla-Góngora, D. (2017). Skills for successful ageing in the elderly: Education, well-being and health. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 237, 986-991.

Gómez-Piriz, P. T., Puga-González, E., Jurado-Gilabert, R. M., & Pérez-Duque, P. (2014). Perceived quality of life and the specific physical activities by the elderly. Revista Internacional De Medicina Y Ciencias De La Actividad Física Y El Deporte, 14(54), 227-242.

Howley, E. T. (2001). Type of activity: Resistance, aerobic and leisure versus occupational physical activity. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 33(6), S364-S369.

Kokkinos, P., & Myers, J. (2019). Physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and health: A historical perspective. In: Kokkinos, P., & Narayan, P. (eds.) Cardiorespiratory fitness in cardiometabolic diseases (pp. 1-9). New York, United States: Springer.

Leirós-Rodríguez, R., Romo-Pérez, V., García-Soidán, J. L., & Soto-Rodríguez, A. (2018). Prevalence and factors associated with functional limitations during aging in a representative sample of spanish population. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 36(2-3), 156-167.

Leirós-Rodríguez, R., Romo-Pérez, V., Soto-Rodríguez, A., & García-Soidán, J. L. (2018). Prevalence of functional limitations during aging in a representative sample of spanish population and its relationship with body mass index. Retos-Nuevas Tendencias En Educacion Fisica Deporte Y Recreación, (34), 200-204.

Menezes, A. S., dos Santos-Silva, R. J., Tribess, S., Romo-Pérez, V., & Virtuoso-Júnior, J. S. (2015). Physical inactivity and associated factors in elderly people in Brazil. Revista Internacional De Medicina Y Ciencias De La Actividad Física Y El Deporte, 15(60), 773-784.

Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare. (2020). Statistics National Institute. Retrieved from:

Monteagudo, P., Cordellat, A., & Roldán, A. (2019). Effects of multicomponent exercise on metabolic health parameters in elderly. MOJ Sports Med, 3(3), 70-74.

Nelson, M. K. (2016). Family day care providers: Dilemmas of daily practice. In: Nakano, E., Chang, G., & Forcey, L. R. (eds.) Mothering: Ideology, experience, and agency (pp. 181-209). London, England: Routledge.

Phelps, C., Madhavan, G., Rappuoli, R., Levin, S., Shortliffe, E., & Colwell, R. (2016). Strategic planning in population health and public health practice: A call to action for higher education. The Milbank Quarterly, 94(1), 109-125.

Porras, L., Stafford, H., & Adams, N. S. (2018). Promoting physical activity. In: Daaleman, T. P., & Helton, M. R. (eds.) Chronic illness care: Principles and practice (pp. 55-69). New York, United States: Springer.

Racodon, M., Peze, T., & Masson, P. (2019). Analysis of physical exercise in cardiac patients following cardiovascular rehabilitation. Acta Cardiologica, 17, 1-6.

Rodulfo, J. I. A. (2019). Sedentarism, a disease from XXI Century. Clínica E Investigación En Arteriosclerosis (English Edition), 31(5), 233-240.

Sardeli, A. V., do Carmo-Santos, L., Ferreira, M. L. V., Gáspari, A. F., Rodrigues, B., Cavaglieri, C. R., & Chacon-Mikahil, M. P. T. (2017). Cardiovascular responses to different resistance exercise protocols in elderly. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 38(12), 928-936.

Statistics National Institute. (2020). Health National Survey. Retrieved from:

Studenski, S., Perera, S., Patel, K., Rosano, C., Faulkner, K., Inzitari, M., ... Connor, E. B. (2011). Gait speed and survival in older adults. Jama, 305(1), 50-58.

van Blarigan, E. L., Fuchs, C. S., Niedzwiecki, D., Zhang, S., Saltz, L. B., Mayer, R. J., ... Benson, A. (2018). Association of survival with adherence to the American Cancer Society nutrition and physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors after colon cancer diagnosis: The CALGB 89803/alliance trial. JAMA Oncology, 4(6), 783-790.

World Health Organization. (2010). Global recommendations on physical activity for health. World Health Organization. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.

Zheng, G., Xia, R., Zhou, W., Tao, J., & Chen, L. (2016). Aerobic exercise ameliorates cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(23), 1443-1450.


Copyright (c) 2018 Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.