There are many reasons why older people – or any of us – are not physically active or do not exercise;

It can help to think about your own patterns of physical activity throughout your lifetime.

  • What physical activity did you do as a child, teenager, young adult, middle age?
  • Has there been a theme to the physical activity in your life? E.g. sport and competition? Being outdoors?
  • Who or what was a big influence on your attitudes, motivation and involvement in physical activity?
  • What barriers, conditions, life happenings inhibited your active life? And what enabled you to be active?
  • What helped you to start again after a setback or a period of inactivity?
  • Who inspired you or supported you? 


Each older person is an individual, with their own lifetime of physical activities, however these are some common reasons for not being physically active.  

  • I do not need as much physical activity
  • Exercise is dangerous
  • I might injure myself
  • I have pain 
  • Only vigorous and sustained exercise is of any use
  • I prefer sedentary activities, such as reading and socialising
  • Cost may be too high
  • Many sports and activities attract younger adults and I  feel unwelcome
  • There are not activities which suit my needs