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‘It’s never too late’ to get active says Age UK

Published on 18 October 2016 11:01 PM

An Age UK conference, 'It's never too late' will discuss ways to boost physical activity among older people and how it can make a positive impact.

There are over 11.4 million people aged 65 or over in the UK and nearly half (45.3%) are considered to be inactive, compared to 27.7% of the population. A number of leading experts will come together this week at Age UK's ‘It's never too late' conference to discuss the positive effect that physical activity can have on ageing and how it is never too late to get active.

A report earlier in the year by leading researchers BritainThinks found older people living with long term conditions such as asthma or arthritis knew their health would improve if they did more physical activity, but the majority found it difficult to see how they could actually achieve this.

With an ageing population and stretched resources for health and social care, Age UK is keen to encourage others to develop exercise programmes. The conference will showcase the positive impact their own programmes - Inspire & include (funded by Sport England) and Get going together (funded by GlaxoSmithKline) have had on the health and well- being of older people. There will also be a series of talks and workshops throughout the day exploring the effect physical activity has on the ageing brain and mental wellbeing; there will also be a number of presentations from people who run physical activity programmes for people living with long term conditions. Attendees will aslo have the chance to hear from participants who have experienced the benefits of physical activity.

The 'It's never too late' conference is taking place on Wednesday 19 October in London.

Key speakers on the day include:

  • Professor James Goodwin, Chief Scientist, Age UK
  • Lindsay Games, Head of Disability, Sport England
  • Pam Creaven, Services Director, Age UK
  • Dr Mike Brannan, Deputy National Lead for Adult
  • Health and Wellbeing, Public Health England
  • Dr Rachel Arnold, Lecturer in Sport and Performance Psychology, University of Bath
  • Hayley Jarvis, Community Programmes Manager (Sport), Mind
  • Anastasia Knox, Associate Director, BritainThinks

Physical activity is a priority for Age UK in supporting older people to remain as healthy and independent in later life as they want to be. Over 130 local Age UKs deliver physical activity programmes which also help to reduce social isolation and loneliness among older people.

Pam Creaven, Services Director at Age UK said:

'There is overwhelming evidence that doing some form of exercise - whatever our age or state of health - is good for us, but we also know how daunting it can be for older people with long term conditions or who aren't used to doing it regularly.

'Our ‘It's never too late' conference is an opportunity to share expert knowledge and increase our understanding of how we can help people exercise and exactly what service they need both to get started and to sustain their efforts into the longer term. There are huge potential gains to be made, not only for individuals but for the NHS too.'

Age UK, in partnership with NHS England, Public Health England, the Chief Fire Officers Association and older people have published a Practical Guide to Healthy Ageing. The guide helps older people stay physically fit and mentally well providing hints and tips on how to keep fit and independent.


Ref: SK

Notes to editors

For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.

Age UK

We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI and our local Age UK partners in England (together the Age UK Family). We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances. We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

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Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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