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Kinesiology and Community Health :: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Department of Kinesiology and Community Health
College of Applied Health Sciences

Transnational Strategies for the Promotion of Physical Activity and Active Aging: The World Health Organization Model of Consensus Building in International Public Health

Sponsored by the Aging and Life Course Program at the World Health Organization (WHO), the Aging and Life Course program has systematically advocated for a public health agenda that includes an increased focus on chronic disease prevention through the reduction of high risk behaviors, such as, stopping smoking and reducing excessive alcohol consumption, and the promotion of healthy lifestyle choices, including increased physical activity and adequate and healthy nutrition (Kalache, 1996). In a recent publication (Chodzko-Zajko & Schwingel, 2009), Wojtek and Chodzko-Zajko colleague Andiara Schwingel examined the four step process adopted by the WHO in its systematic campaign to promote physically active lifestyles by older adults across the 193 member states of the WHO. The four steps adopted by the WHO include (1) Building Consensus Among Professionals; (2) Educating the Public and Building Consumer Demand; (3) Developing an Active Aging Public Policy Framework; and (4) Refining, Expanding, and Evolving the Model. For each of these steps the WHO approach sought input from a wide variety of sources in each of the six WHO regions (Africa; Americas; South-East Asia; Europe; Eastern Mediterranean; Western Pacific) in order to systematically build a transnational consensus with regard to the importance of regular physical activity as a critical component of the prevention of chronic disease and the promotion of high quality of life in the older adult population.

European Union Consensus Consortium on Frailty

In 2011 the European Union established a consortium of experts from around the world who were charged with the development of a consensus definition of frailty for application across the member states of the European Union.

As the older adult population grows across the European States, strategies for promoting health, independence, and quality of life among the older population are perceived to be of increasing importance. One important area involves identifying those older persons who are frail and at highest risk for disability and loss of independence. The FOD-CC (Frailty Operative Definition-Consensus Collaboration) project aims at providing a consensus definition of frailty involving experts from a variety of different disciplines with the goal of developing the most complete and concrete definition of frailty to date.

Using the Delphi Questionnaire Technique, experts from across Europe and North America have examined frailty from a variety of different disciplinary perspectives. Disciplinary groups include Geriatricians; Non-Geriatric Clinicians; Health Workers; Basic Scientists; and Social and Non-Governmental.

Professor Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko is representing the University of Illinois on the FOD-CC project and on the FOD-CC writing group. The consortium will meet next in Madrid in October 2011 and expects to publish the outcomes of the project in 2012.

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