Active Gloucestershire celebrates International Older Person’s Day with a challenge to try new activity this month to help people keep healthy

Active Gloucestershire celebrates International Older Person’s Day with a challenge to try new activity this month to help people keep healthy

Active Gloucestershire celebrates International Older Person’s Day with a challenge to try new activity this month to help people keep healthy

Today, 1st October, is ‘International Older Person’s Day’, and to celebrate/mark the occasion, Active Gloucestershire is encouraging its network of groups working in this area to introduce a new type of activity into their usual groups this month.

There are over 200,000 older adults (defined as over 55 years1) across Gloucestershire. Whilst people over 55 are slightly more active than those of the same age across England2, 40% of people 55-74 years old and 64% of those over 75 are still doing less than the advised amount. Many older adults spend on average 10 hours a day sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary group. The NHS advises that as people get older, it becomes even more important to remain active to stay healthy and maintain independence. Those who are active have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Activity also reduces the risk of mental health issues with those more active less at risk of depression and dementia3.

Active Gloucestershire, a county-based charity with the mission ‘Everyone active in Gloucestershire every day’ works with over 50 groups across the county to encourage more physical activity. Its aim is to help 6,000 older people to be more active over the next three years. At a meeting today with these groups, the charity launched a campaign to encourage them to try new activity with the older people they work with.

Sarah Haden-Godwin, Physical Activity Specialist for Older Adults said “activity can be anything that just gets your body moving and ideally moves your heart rate up a little. Brisk walking, going up and down the stairs, dancing! The advice is to do around 20 minutes a day of this to keep healthy, alongside strength and balance-based activities too like carrying shopping, gardening and tai chi”. Continued…

Mandie Merrett, Activity Co-ordinator at Chestnut Court, Quedgely has pledged to trial the Chair Stand Challenge being introduced by NHS Gloucestershire Care Services this month. “We think it is a simple exercise that can be introduced every day, and our residents can see their progress by how they feel as time goes by”. The NHS Health Information Bus is promoting the exercise this month, being at Cheltenham M&S this Friday 10am-2pm, Coleford on Tuesday and Cirencester on 30th October.

International Older Person’s Day was set up by the United Nations in 1990 to highlight the contribution older adults make in society and to look at the issues that affect their lives.

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  • Photos: Stock picture of ‘older adults’ available to use with this press release. Picture of Active Aging Groups meeting on 1st October 2018.

PRESS AND MEDIA CONTACT: Leigh Fitzjames 07526-115-249 | leighfitzjames@activegloucestershire.org‬‬‬‬‬‬

Further Sources:

1 Office for National Statistics 2016 estimate 2 Sport England Active Lives Survey 2017 3 https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/exercise-as-you-get-older/

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