Themed Briefing - December 2020

The Importance Of Physical Activity In Older Populations

It is something that happens to everyone from the day we are born. We get older.

This month we highlight the work of four organisations supporting older adults to live their lives and utilising the power of physical activity and movement to have a positive impact on quality of life.

The focus is not just about living longer but more an emphasis on living longer, well, with the ability to maintain independence and continue doing common, everyday activities.  Fitness, exercise and physical activity are not just about winning races, losing weight and burning calories. It is about mobility, strength, social connection and self-esteem and the major roles these things play in mental health and overall well-being, whatever age you are.

Move It Or Lose It

Founder of Move it or Lose it, Julie Robinson, shares the mission behind this award-winning programme helping older people live happier, healthier and more active lives.

Julie talks about the importance of functional fitness, those activities that have a real lasting impact on people’s ability to complete everyday tasks as they get older.

And it is not just about fitness. The social connections made can be just as important for the overall wellbeing of older people, reducing loneliness and isolation and increasing confidence.

Full transcript available HERE.

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Single Homeless Project

It is estimated that people who are homeless experience some of the worst health outcomes in England, with life expectancy 30 years below the population average.

The Sports and Health Programme from the Project introduces those they work with to the benefits of exercise for improving both physical and mental well-being.

This great video captures just why sports helps the clients that the Project works with and the positive impact this has on their lives.

The pandemic meant that Single Homeless Project could not organise a big Sports Day that brought everyone together so instead they took Sports Day on tour. 

The footage follows two weeks of Sports Day, on tour.


Open Age 

Open Age focuses on connecting people over the age of 50 through physical activity, arts and culture, championing an active lifestyle for both body and mind.

Head of Physical Activity at Open Age, Deryn Bath shares the message that older adults want to take part in physical activity and this should not be underestimated.

The Open Age programme has been transformed by the pandemic with a shift to remote delivery through Zoom but also through a telephone offering that supports those without computer access.

Deryn shares some amazing case studies allowing us to hear from the individuals themselves on how the programme has positively impacted their lives including how mobility equals independence.

The Richmond Group Of Charities

Alzheimer’s Society

Steve McFadyen, Physical Activity lead at Alzheimer’s Society talks about the importance of physical activity and movement to older people and the challenges of living with dementia. 

Steve talks about the links between inactivity and ill health and some of the barriers that go up when individuals receive a diagnosis and how the right support can make all the difference.

He shares information on the impact of Covid-19 on older people’s physical health and how the pandemic has had a real effect on confidence levels, motivation and energy.

Full transcript available HERE.

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