Care homes should offer Zumba classes in a bid to save pensioners from cancer, strokes and hip fractures, fitness experts say.
More than one million cases of disease could be prevented - with NHS savings of almost £11bn over a decade - if older people took up regular dance lessons, researchers said.
Ukactive called for health groups to do more to target those in middle age and beyond, with physical inactivity blamed for one in six deaths.
The fitness body said the number of hip fractures would fall by nearly one third, if everyone over 61 in the UK took part in 150 minutes a week of moderate dance exercise such as Zumba or line dancing.
Over the next decade almost 1.5m over 60s in the UK can expect to fall victim to hip fractures, on current trends.
But the organisation’s analysis suggests this would drop to around one million cases, if older people improved their cardiovascular health and strengthened bones and joints, with five 30-minute classes a week.
There is evidence that sustained physical activity in older age is associated with improved overall health
And around half a million cases of other diseases - such as heart disease, dementia and depression - could be prevented by such levels of activity among older groups, the fitness body said. The number of cases of dementia would fall by more than 200,000, while over 100,000 people might be spared heart disease.
If everyone took such steps, the savings to the NHS would amount to £10.7 bn in a decade, ukactive said.
Falls currently cost the NHS more than £2bn per year and often result in pensioners being forced to move into care homes.
After an osteoporotic fracture, 50 per cent of over-65s can no longer live independently.
Steven Ward, ukactive Executive Director, said: “Sedentary lifestyles are sending our ageing crisis into overdrive and this will bankrupt our health system unless we shift focus from prevention onto cure.”
He said it was time for an “urgent rethink” of how we age, to ensure that simple interventions were widely offered.
“Physical activity strategies in care and residential homes would unlock the huge health benefits of activities like Zumba and dance, reinvigorating residents and giving them greater independence for longer,” he said.
Physical inactivity is the fourth greatest cause of disease and disability in the UK, studies have found.
Professor Dame Carol Black, an advisor to Public Health England said older people should be encouraged to be as active as possible - with activities aimed at different ages.
It was never too late to take action, suggested Dame Carol, a member of ukactive’s board.
“There is evidence that sustained physical activity in older age is associated with improved overall health, significant health benefits being seen even among participants who become physically active relatively late in life,” she said.
“Being active as we age, maintaining hobbies, interests and taking walks are certainly good for wellbeing. They are also the best means we have of maintaining muscle and bone strength and mobility, essential conditions for continuing independence and reduced risk of falling.”
All adults are advised to take at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, which can include brisk walking or cycling, and to carry out strength exercises twice a week - which could mean gym workouts, or carrying heavy shopping.
Those who are over the age of 65 are advised to aim for the same targets, if they are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit mobility.
A recent report by the British Heart Foundation warned that one in three adults are failing to undertake the minimum amount of physical activity recommended by the Government.