Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Aged; Exercise


The population of those 65 years old or older has increased dramatically over the past several decades and will continue to grow well into the 21 st Century. This change in U.S. demography has also led to an increased interest in geriatric medicine and the implications physical activity has on the social, medical, and economical aspects of treating this patient population.

Research has shown that people who participate regularly in aerobic activity have lower mortality and morbidity rates, even if an exercise program is started later in life. Moderate exercise has been proven to be an important part of treatment for many diseases. Exercise can improve physiologic and psychological function in the geriatric population and, in turn, increases independence and decreases acute and chronic care needs of these patients.

The purpose of this independent study is to provide a complete literature review of how the human body ages, how activity affects this aging process, and how health care providers can prescribe safe and effective exercise programs to the elderly patient population.