About the Organization:
Overview – The Fifty-Plus Fitness Association (FPFA) is a twenty-year old non-profit organization whose mission is to promote an active lifestyle for older people. The organization started at Stanford University as an outgrowth of some medical research on the value of exercise for older persons. It currently has approximately 2,000 members across the United States. The FPFA publishes a newsletter, distributes books and videos, and sponsors activities such as “fun runs” for seniors. This past summer, it offered a six-week “Fifty-Plus Fitness Challenge Camp” on the Stanford University Campus that involved the participants in a variety of physical activities.
Our Purpose – To encourage fitness and a more active lifestyle for those who are fifty years or older. To show that misuse and disuse of the body and mind are more the cause of disability than chronological age alone.
Mission Statement – Our Mission is to provide a longer and more independent lifestyle for adults by expanding awareness and involvement in health and fitness activities.
News and Events:
Fitness Ambassador Program
Fitness ambassadors organize activities and provide information to encourage increased physical activity among adults age 50 and over in their communities.
Fifty-Plus Fitness Association Response to the Blueprint Initiative
The Mission of Fifty-Plus Fitness Association is to provide a longer and more enjoyable lifestyle for adults by expanding awareness and involvement in health and fitness activities. Over time, the organization has expanded its research about its members and the effects of fitness on their lifestyles and health conditions.
More recently, the Association has developed a number of programs which have led to active participation by older adults in seeking health improvements as they age. We believe these efforts have been in line with the recent highest priority responses that we made to the Barriers and Strategies to Promote Physical Activity Questionnaire addressed to the Blueprint participants.
Our listing of these priorities emphasized:
-too few studies on strategies to increase physical activity among older adults
-research findings are rarely translated into practical intervention strategies
-few models exist for an integrated community approach to physical activity
-traditional medical education give minimal attention to disease prevention
-not enough good economic models exist that illustrate the cost benefits of increasing physical activity
-many of the messages about physical activity have been unclear and confusing
-identify and use “ambassadors” to communicate to the 50plus audience
-design and implement a comprehensive longitudinal study of activity-friendly communities
-identify valid and reliable measures that can be used in future activity research
-establish partnerships with other groups
-develop and test mass-market communications campaign to increase awareness
Fifty-Plus believes many of the programs it has established answer these priorities:
-published ongoing longitudinal research now extending to community groups
-local walk and other exercise events promoting community participation
-discussion groups that invite participation on 36 different topics on healthy aging
-a Fitness Challenge Camp that is a small group outdoor exercise program with pre and post test results. Over 200 different seniors have participated
-a newsletter that gives current medical and scientific opinion on exercise as well as a full calendar of activities
-an Ambassador program, with new added funding, that allows our programs to be implemented in many communities and allows partnering with others in those communities. The program is to include a full set of support instructions and materials to permit the Ambassador to perform with high efficiency and outreach
-sponsorship of a recent assembly of major organizations interested in physical activity for older adults, to bring a more cohesive statement about its importance, and to provide a statement to the new U.S. Surgeon General about ways for that office to take direct action in this regard
-a planned directory of ongoing senior fitness activities in a given community