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AC TIVE AGEING

With many older people in crisis due to the pandemic, ukactive’s head of health and wellbeing development, Kenny Butler, explains why the organisation is launching an active ageing consultation and how you can get involved

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here’s never been a better time to recognise the incredible value of gyms and leisure centres in supporting the health and wellbeing of older adults and people with long-term health conditions. These facilities provide services that are vital to achieving not only greater physical activity levels, but also improved social connections, generating significant health, economic and social value. Sport England’s 2018/19 Active Lives Survey reported only 40 per cent of people aged over 75 were meeting the recommended chief medical officer guidelines of 150 minutes’ activity per week, meaning 60 per cent do not. This makes it even more important that the sector continually improves user experience, to ensure the right level of provision, choice and accessibility, with ability and age-appropriate offerings.

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Our sector can do more for active ageing – it’s never been more important

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New initiative

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ukactive has launched an Active Ageing Consultation with the aim of developing and highlighting existing industry-wide activity options according to the level of physical activity required, not just by age group. Months of social distancing, and increased time spent being sedentary at home has had a deconditioning effect on many people – particularly on those in mid- and later-life, and those living with long-term health conditions. Deconditioning is real. It can lead to loss of muscle mass, stiffening of joints, loss of bone density and decreases in aerobic fitness, meaning the impacts of COVID-19 will put many more people at risk of losing functional ability sooner than they otherwise

October 2020 ©Cybertrek 2020

Months of social distancing at home has put many older people at increased risk of losing functional ability

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