New Campaign Launched to Improve the Lives of Older People

Ellen Lees
By Ellen Lees,
updated on May 10, 2019

New Campaign Launched to Improve the Lives of Older People

Hundreds of older people across the country are being trained as 10 Today ‘Champions’ in the hopes of bringing together thousands of others to encourage exercise and physical activity

10 Today is a national exercise programme, developed and led by older people to improve physical and mental wellbeing and reduce strain on the NHS. Launched by Sport England, housing provider Anchor Hanover and cross-party think tank Demos, the initiative comes after research revealed physical inactivity in later life is one of the greatest challenges facing our country.

The Active Ageing report by Anchor Hanover, England’s largest provider of care and housing for older people, in association with Demos, warns that physical inactivity of older people will cost the NHS more than £1.3bn by 2030.

It also sheds light on the human cost of inactivity, illustrating how inactivity not only contributes to poorer physical health, but also cognitive decline, reduced emotional wellbeing and loneliness.

Inspired by Radio Taiso in Japan, 10 Today has been produced and led by older people, for older people. The initiative aims to increase physical activity amongst older people, helping to reduce social isolation and improve the physical and mental wellbeing of participants - all starting with 10 minutes of exercise.

Broadcasting on radio and online, 10 Today will provide a series of easy, accessible and enjoyable 10-minute episodes. These can be done almost anywhere and at any time - whether in a group or as an individual, standing up or sitting down - and are adaptable to different fitness levels.

The report also revealed 34% of older people in the UK dread or fear exercise, though 76% wish they were more physically active. 50% said that they would rather do household chores than 10 minutes of exercise, while 46% admitted to a physical condition having a negative impact on their ability to interact with younger relatives.

By taking part in 10 Today three times a week, older people (65+) can meet the minimum 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a week target, recommended by the Chief Medical Officer in the UK physical activity guidelines. By meeting this target, health outcomes for older people are thought to be drastically improved, thereby reducing the impact of inactivity on the NHS.

Jane Ashcroft CBE, Chief Executive of Anchor Hanover, says: “Inactivity in later life is an urgent issue that cannot be overlooked any longer. Everyone should have a chance to live life to the full, regardless of age.

“It’s imperative that our older generations are able to exercise in a way that suits their needs, to improve their wellbeing and reduce strain on the NHS, which is a lifeline for so many.

“We’re proud to have many of our customers and colleagues across Anchor Hanover leading the way and embracing the significant benefits of 10 Today.”

Mike Diaper, Executive Director for Tackling Inactivity at Sport England, said: “Maintaining an active lifestyle as you grow older delivers massive health benefits. While we have seen more older adults getting active than ever before, there are still too many who aren’t doing 30 minutes of activity a week.

“All too often it can feel like the barriers to getting active grow as we age. However, even small changes make a real difference. That’s why we are investing £10 million of National Lottery funding into over 20 projects, like 10 Today, that support innovative and experimental approaches to support older people to get and stay active in a way that’s convenient, accessible and fun for them.

“It’s not just about the physical benefits as this project aims to bring people together to reduce loneliness, strengthen mental health and resilience to enable more adults to lead happier and healthier lives.”

Watch or listen to 10 Today.

Read more about the 10 Today champions and how to become a champion yourself.

To discover more about how physical activity can impact your mental health and wellbeing, visit Counselling Directory or search for therapists in your area by entering your location in the box below.

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