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Prescribing physical activity as a preventive measure for middle-aged Australians with dementia risk factors

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 04:42 authored by Annear, M, Peter LucasPeter Lucas, Wilkinson, T, Shimizu, Y
Dementia is increasing in Australia in line with population ageing and is expected to peak by mid-century. The development of common forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, is associated with lifestyle-related risk factors that are prevalent among middle-aged Australians, including obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and depression. These risk factors can be significantly ameliorated through regular participation in moderate aerobic physical activity (PA). Current national and international guidelines recommend at least 150 min of aerobic PA per week for achieving health protective effects. Lifestyle intervention is a critical area for action as there are currently no medical or pharmaceutical interventions that can halt the progression of common dementias. Physician-patient discussions concerning risk reduction via habitual aerobic PA offers a complementary intervention as part of broader dementia management. Evidence suggests that to achieve the highest rates of adherence to PA, physician advice in primary care should be supported by wider policies, institutions and community services that offer a meaningful referral pathway and patient follow up after initial assessment. International Green Prescription programs provide examples of physician-led interventions in primary care that could inform further action in Australia.


Publication title

Australian Journal of Primary Health








School of Paramedicine


C S I R O Publishing

Place of publication


Rights statement

© CSIRO 2019

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Health education and promotion; Preventive medicine

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