Why is being active in later life important?
The benefits of living an active lifestyle are well-documented. As healthcare professionals, you understand the profound impact of an active lifestyle on our seniors. Engaging in regular exercise not only maintains muscle strength and flexibility and prevents deconditioning, but also supports mental health, reducing the risk of depression and cognitive decline.
Physical Activity for Falls Prevention
Falls are the number one reason for emergency hospital admissions among older people. They are estimated to cost the NHS £630 million annually (BMJ, 2023) however, falls and fractures are often preventable. Regular physical activity, incorporating strength training twice per week, reduces the risk of hip fractures by 68%.
What is 'deconditioning'?
Deconditioning is the term we use to describe the decline in physical fitness and functional ability that can occur as we age (or due to injury). The process of deconditioning is gradual and affects various aspects of our health, including muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness, bone density, and flexibility. With this means deconditioning can lead to a range of negative consequences for health in time, such as increased vulnerability to falls, reduced mobility, greater likelihood of injury and a diminished quality of life and loss of independence. However, deconditioning can be prevented, through regular physical activity and incorporating strength activities twice per week. Find out more about preventing deconditioning here.
Where can I signpost seniors to support them to be active?
There are lots of activities taking place in the community that can support seniors to become more active, and improve their strength, balance, and mobility. Below are some of our favourites:
- Strong and Steady: A FREE Worcestershire-based 24-week gentle exercise class programme, aimed at improving strength, balance, and mobility.
- Walking Sports - Adapted versions of the traditional games. A great, social way of being active!
- There is a variety of activity opportunities listed on our free-to-use Activity Finder. Simply enter your postcode and search for activities near you.
What is meant by physical activity on prescription?
Physical Activity on Prescription is an approach that focuses on providing physical activity and exercise as non-medical method of treating patients conditions and wellbeing concerns. Health care professionals can connect patients to local community activities or to exercise professionals who can provide bespoke exercise and healthy lifestyle programmes and information.
What is an 'Active Practice'?
1 in 4 people said they would be more active if it was recommended by a GP or nurse. The Active Practices Charter is an initiative by The Royal College of GPs and Sport England to establish a national network of practices making positive changes in their surgeries to boost staff and patient wellbeing.
The Active Practice Charter is free to join and is a fun, easy way to make some simple but impactful changes in your workplace that will demonstrate to your patients and staff that you mean it when you say that movement is the best medicine.
We are looking to support GP's in Herefordshire and Worcestershire to become an Active Practice by making simple changes to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of patients and staff.
For more information, and to find out how to become an Active Practice, please contact Huw Griffiths, Strategic Lead for Active and Healthy Ageing at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07795 632239.
Strategic Lead for Active and Healthy Ageing
- Adult Participation Programmes
- Strategic Lead for Strong and Steady Exercise Classes
- Physical Activity and Health