Functional fitness tests for older adults
Researchers working in the field of healthy ageing at GCU first carried out functional fitness MOT tests and exercise programmes in 2012. They are designed to measure and improve balance, strength and stamina among older people thereby reducing the chance of falls and improving overall quality of life, particularly among the fastest growing age-group in the population, those over 85, also known as the oldest old.
A published Impact Report from the Functional Fitness MOT training that the BHF National Centre for Physical Activity and Health ran, based on the original Functional Fitness MOT awareness work that GCU undertook, found that the Functional Fitness MOT training programme has to-date reached over 350 physical activity, health, exercise and fitness and active ageing professionals across the UK in its first year (Summer 2013 – Summer 2014). Academics are also highlighting active ageing through events such as Sporting Senior Games, which saw elderly people from Charleston, West Virginia compete in a series of events against care home residents from throughout Scotland in 2015.
There is a lack of awareness of the UK CMO (Chief Medical Officers’) physical activity guidelines for older adults (65+ years), even among exercise and fitness professionals.With a growing older population there is a challenge to ensure that older people stay fitter and healthier for longer. Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University are developing new ways to monitor the health and well-being of the older community, including the functional fitness MOT. Their research aims to embed evidence-based fall prevention programmes for at risk older people, reducing the number of falls each year and lengthening the active and healthy part of the average older person’s life.
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