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The trend of extended life expectancy along with a sedentary lifestyle is typical in Western cultures.

Objective:

To explore adherence to physical activity recommendations in older adults in Israel.

Methods:

A random sample of 1,536 Jews and 316 Arabs age 65+ were interviewed and divided into sufficiently active, insufficiently active, and inactive groups based on official guidelines.

Results:

Only 36.4% of the Jewish sector and 19.6% of the Arab sector are sufficiently active. Men are more active than women, the secular are more active than the religious among both Jews and Arabs, and more years of education, a higher income, and fewer diseases and medications are related to higher levels of physical activity.

Discussion:

To slow down biological age decline with physical activity, intervention programs specifically tailored for culturally diverse groups are suggested—for example, recruiting prominent religious leaders to promote physical activity in religious populations.

Netz and Zeev are with the Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Wingate Institute, Israel. Goldsmith is with the Ministry of Health, Department of Nutrition, Israel. Shimony is with the Ministry of Health, Israel Center for Disease Control, Israel. Ben-Moshe is with the Association for the Planning and Development of Services for the Aged in Israel—ESHEL, Health Promotion Section, Israel.