While life expectancy is increasing, many of us aren’t making the most of those extra years according to researchers at the University of Cumbria.
A conference to be held at the Lancaster campus on Friday will consider why this is the case and what can be done to maintain activity in later years.
“The healthogenic effects of staying active across the lifespan are widely promoted, yet only 36% of men and 18% of women over 75 years of age in England achieve the physical activity guidelines of 150 min/wk,” the Active Ageing Research Groupat the University of Cumbria said.
There is concern that not enough is being done to highlight the activities that can help maintain physical resilience and on Friday (15 June) the topic will be debated with a team of experts drawn from across the north.
Associate Professor Bampouras will be joined by Lancaster-based colleague Dr Lawrence Hayes who recently carried out a fitness survey of over 65's living in north Lancashire. “It’s early days but the outline research revealed that older adults can exercise very intensely and recover as quick as younger adults from this type of exercise," he said.
Joining them will be Julie Clifford from Carlisle-based iCan community health and fitness centre who will be discussing how the community group has successfully appealed to people of pensionable age to keep fit.
Dr Theoharis Ispoglou from Leeds Beckett University who has developed a protein bar aimed at helping the UK’s ageing population will also be among guest speakers at the day long event. Dr Ispoglou’s research suggests that certain groups of elderly people may need to consume double the recommended daily intake of protein and combine that with exercise in a bid to achieve a higher muscle mass and ultimately an increased level of strength.
“Reduced functional ability as we age is caused by a natural weakening of physiological systems, exacerbated by physical inactivity and this conference will consider the benefits of, and barriers to, physical activity and exercise in older cohorts, with a focus on resistance training,” Associate Professor Bampouras said.