In partnership with EGYM, UK Active have launched a new consultation that seeks to obtain a deeper understanding of what best practice looks like in engaging those over the age of 55 in physical activity. This is an area which is increasingly important for the health outcomes of the nation, not only in terms of an ageing population, but also in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Only 50% of adults aged 75+ complete the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week, but physical inactivity is one of the strongest predictors of physical disability in older adults. Research shows supporting regular physical activity for people with long-term conditions, reduces pain and disability, improves quality of life and improves mental health and wellbeing. Focusing on physical activity can also prevent or delay the need for social care.
We want to help ensure that older adults are able to access the myriad of benefits of an active lifestyle, so it’s important to understand the challenges and barriers those over the age of 55 face when trying to lead an active lifestyle. This might mean specific programmes, interventions or a wider range of physical activity offerings.
The UK Active Research Institute is leading this work, which will involve three key stages:
Case study submission – a call for a survey submission from the UK Active membership, wider physical activity sector and partners, to understand what is being done to meet the needs of the older population.
Formulation and review of case studies – once the case study evidence has been collated, this will be reviewed by a group of older adults, selected to best represent individuals from this age group. This will involve a qualitative research process where older adults are asked to explore, review, and critique the evidence based on their needs, putting the central stakeholder in control of shaping the solutions and decision making.
Development of recommendations – based on the findings from stages 1 and 2, and to explore how we can use the evidence and physical activity sector offering to support older people to be active, a series of recommendations will be developed. These will focus on how best practice can be achieved and up scaled and will inform policy positioning within the sector.
We are calling any of our 55+ year old clients and members that would like to be a case study for this research. You can submit through an online survey and the consultation’s final findings will be released in the New Year.