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Physical activity and successful aging
10th International EGREPA Conference

European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity

14.09. - 16.09.2006 in Köln

Successful aging and the effect of physical activity

Meeting Abstract

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Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa083

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Published: December 18, 2006

© 2006 Schlicht.
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Developed nations face a major challenge in the growing number of aging people. In 2002 Oeppen and Vaupel predicted life expectancy as continuously increasing. Life expectancy has steadily increased by three months per year for the last 160 years. In 2050 every third person in Germany will reach at least the sixtieth birthday.

From a biological point of view, one may expect age-related diseases, biological decline and a loss of autonomy for most of the old people. Contrary to this worst scenario elderly people today report well-being and life satisfaction and therefore disagree with a negative perception of her aging-process (age invariance paradox).

Aging may be successful by changing our point of view. Psychological or sociological perspectives consider the structural and personal variables which determine autonomy, growth, satisfaction and age-related functioning. Successful aging could be influenced by an active lifestyle (e.g. Rejeski & Mihalko, 2001; Herzog & Markus, 1999, McAuley et al., 2004). Our symposium deals with this topic. We ask for barriers and benefits of exercising and we provide a theoretical framework to include the several findings of aging and physical activity. The main objective is to understand what is relevant for successful aging and in which way physical activity supports this desirable goal.

The symposium is structured as a composition of oral presentations and a round table. Three presentations are planned, each lasting 20 minutes. Instead of a direct discussion after each lecturer, we would like to discuss the presentations in general in the remaining time. This discussion will be opened with a short summary of the core statements of the three papers. Therefore we need each presentation one week before the congress will start.