Designing Safe and Effective Physical Activity Programs

This brief is the second in a series promoting best practices in physical activity programming for older adults. It provides an overview of the health benefits of physical activity, best practices in programming, and guidelines and recommendations regarding physical activity for older adults developed by a coalition of national organizations led by the American College of Sports Medicine (Cress, et. al. 2004). Organizations that have been offering recreational physical activity programs can increase the health benefit of their programs by attending to the topics addressed in this issue brief, including: the key components of a physical activity program, strategies for addressing behavior change, and guidelines for injury and risk management both in general programming and for specific chronic conditions and disabilities.