14 May 2012
Hundreds have taken part in Active Ageing events
Hundreds of older people from across Scotland have helped Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) begin its preparations to host the 8th World Congress on Active Ageing in August.
The older people undertook a full functional fitness MOT held at the university to measure balance, strength, flexibility and other aspects of general fitness. GCU staff and pupils then offered tailored advice on how the attendees, all over 65 years of age, could best improve.
The health MOTs come as GCU staff, including Professor of Ageing and Health Dawn Skelton, prepare to host the WCAA - the key event in the active ageing calendar.
The four-yearly international congress – running over five days from August 13 to 17 in the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre - will bring together academic experts from across the world while including a large number of older participants in events and associated workshops.
The event will not only highlight the latest research evidence and best practice on physical activity and active ageing, but also highlight the needs of an often excluded but growing population group world-wide, the oldest old.
Functional fitness MOTs will be one of the activities organized for older people during the conference.
Ellen Hunter, Blantyre, 69, retired, undertook one of them at GCU’s fitness and exercise facility, the Arc. She said:
“I heard about the fitness MOTs through my osteoporosis class and thought it would be great to come along and see where I can improve my fitness. I have found out a few things which I never knew before. I have discovered that I am stronger on one side of my body than the other. Also, that I am less flexible in some ways than I thought.”
Professor Skelton added: “We all know that being active is important as we age, but perhaps cannot find the time, the energy, or the drive to seek out different ways to do so. Some of my own research has shown that age does not matter - even 90 year olds can rejuvenate 20 years of lost strength in just 12 weeks of strengthening exercises.
“The benefits of being active, from sleeping better, having more energy, enjoying your food more, better concentration, more confidence, enjoying a good social life and of course, better health will be highlighted at the 8th World Congress on Active Ageing, hosted at the SECC in August.”