REPORT: Active Ageing

Here’s an Anchor Hanover report in  association with Demos that looks at inactivity in later life and its wider implications.

Below is the Executive Summary of the report, with a link to the full report here and at the foot of the text:

There has been considerable research undertaken, particularly over the past decade, exploring the impacts of our ageing population – the health and social care costs this demographic shift will generate, the so called “loneliness epidemic” and the need for more age appropriate housing, to name a few. However, physical inactivity – one of the key drivers of the physical and mental health challenges associated with later life, not to mention social isolation – remains underexplored and not consistently addressed.

Levels of physical inactivity among older people are striking and have remained stubbornly high for many years – 25.1% of adults in England are classed as “inactive” (i.e. engaging in less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per week), but this rises to 28% of  55- 74 year olds, 47% of 75 – 84 year olds, and a staggering 70% of the over 85s.1  

Drawing on over 80 studies concerning physical activity, as well as the findings of a new survey of experiences and attitudes to physical activity among more than 1,000 people aged 55 and over commissioned by Anchor Hanover, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care and housing for older people, this report explains:

• How inactivity is linked to a range of health problems and includes an estimate of some of the costs to individuals and wider society associated with this;
• The benefits of increased activity rates among older people;
• Lessons in overcoming the barriers to older people’s improved activity rates as we look to tackle the inactivity crisis through new approaches. The report also follows best practice methodology to estimate the cost of physical inactivity to the National Health Service (NHS), finding:
• Physical inactivity will directly cost the NHS £723m in the 2019/2020  financial year
• Later life physical inactivity costs the NHS around £92m a year based on 2013/2014 data
• Later life physical inactivity will cost the NHS £103m this year rising to £120m by 2030 based on population projections
• If left unaddressed the NHS will spend over £1.3bn on later life physical  inactivity in real terms between now and 2030
• Physical inactivity was responsible for 23,881 avoidable deaths in 2017.

Read full report