Active ageing: physical activity promotion in elderly

Many populations in the WHO European Region are ageing rapidly. Physical activity and sport participation are of particular importance in older adults to maintain functional capacity and prevent falls, as well as to maintain social networks that may also have positive effects on health. However, studies show that about two thirds of adults aged 55–69 years and about three quarters of those over 70 seldom or never participate in sport or exercise.

This working group, led by Mr Bob Laventure, Loughborough University, United Kingdom, and supported by Ms Liesbeth Preller, Knowledge Centre for Sport Netherlands, aims to identify the main barriers (social, physical, spatial, financial) to sport participation and physical activity for older adults. It focuses on identifying specific needs in research, evidence and practice with regard to the whole range of interventions, including, for example, home and community programmes, spatial planning, policy and advocacy. The working group also contributed to the development of a joint declaration to promote active ageing through falls prevention, which was launched in 2015.

The working group provides a platform for exchanging experience, effective interventions, training and education, and ways to disseminate scientific knowledge to policy-makers and practitioners.

To join this activity, please contact HEPA Europe at hepaeurope@who.int