Sports adapted to encourage older people to exercise
29th April 2019
As you become older, making changes in your life to help with daily activities may be necessary. This can involve installing reconditioned stairlifts to make your home more accessible or using walking aids to visit your local supermarket. Recently, sports companies have taken it a step further and have made changes to less obvious activities such as volleyball, weightlifting and resistance training, making them more accessible to older people.
Sport England, as reported in The Telegraph, launched a fund in 2016 to tackle inactivity when ageing, and they are now working with over 20 projects to encourage older people across the UK to exercise. Some of the projects that Sport England have funded focus on improving mental health, dementia, loneliness and addiction.
One of the projects is in partnership with Volleyball England, who have adapted a usual game of volleyball to suit older people. Using an inflatable ball and nets made from bunting, the players can enjoy a fun game whilst still being seated. The Telegraph reports that Reenie Boot, aged 93, joined in the game: “I absolutely loved it, so much fun and can’t wait for next time to get moving and laughing.”
British Weightlifting has also run a similar project recently. They now offer classes that encourage older people to join in and increase their strength by lifting water bottles and foam bars.
The ideas behind the project came from Oomph Wellness, a company that creates fun and high-quality exercise classes. Together, with Sport England, they aim to get over 27,000 older adults from inactive to active.
Exercise in older adults is a popular subject for studies as researchers are keen to determine just how much exercise can benefit the physical and mental health of older people. A new study, by the University of Birmingham, has been launched to explore whether the health and wellbeing of frail older adults can be improved with exercising whilst seated.
The study involves volunteers exercising using adapted machines for resistance training and chair-based physical activities. Professor Janet Lord says: “The message that exercise is man’s best friend has been lost over time and we are an increasingly sedentary society. We hope this new study will show that encouraging exercise is a viable solution to the problem that we are living longer but not healthier.”
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.