Engaging older people in healthy and active lifestyles: a systematic review


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In 2002, the World Health Organization emphasised the concept of active ageing to manage and increase the last third of life. Although many efforts have been made to optimise treatment management, less attention has been paid to health promotion initiatives. To date, few shared guidelines exist that promote an active life in healthy older targets. To fill this gap, we conducted a systematic review to map health promotion interventions that targeted an active and healthy ageing among older citizens. Articles containing the key term active ageing and seven synonyms were searched for in the electronic databases. Because we were interested in actions aimed to promote healthier lifestyles, we connected the string with the term health. A total of 3,918 titles were retrieved and 20 articles were extracted. Twelve of the 20 studies used group interventions, five interventions targeted the individual level and three interventions targeted the community level. Interventions differed for the health focus of the programmes, which ranged from physical activity interventions to social participation or cognitive functioning. Most of the studies aimed to act on psychological components. The review suggests that different interventions promoted for active ageing are effective in improving specific healthy and active lifestyles; however, no studies were concerned directly with a holistic process of citizen health engagement to improve long-term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAgeing and Society
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jul 27 2015


  • active ageing
  • citizen engagement
  • healthy lifestyle
  • intervention
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Psychology


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