As Len Goodman and Arlene Phillips launch Your Personal Best campaign, a surprising survey reveals that over 55s are more active than the younger generation.
New research by one of the UK’s top polling companies, IPSO-MORI, has shattered the myth that over-55s spend their lives sipping tea and gulping beer in front of the TV.
The survey of 2000 adults – half aged from 18 to 25, and half over 55 – found that the older age group are more dynamic than the younger generation.
In an average week, over-55s spend an average of 726 minutes doing some form of physical activity – almost half an hour more than 18-25 year olds.
That is despite the much bigger obstacles over-55s have to overcome. According to the survey – commissioned by the global healthcare company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) – almost a third (29 per cent) are hampered by long-term health conditions.
In fact, over half of people aged 55 and over have been diagnosed with an illness such as diabetes, asthma, Parkinson’s, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease or a mental health condition.
The campaign, Your Personal Best, is inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and is a joint endeavour between GSK and National Health London. Its aim is encourage the 7.78 million people over 55 with long-term health conditions to lead a more active lifestyle.
Dr William Bird MBE – an NHS London consultant with a special interest in physical activity says that although keeping active can can be a challenge for those in poor health, “it can make a significant difference to your health and well-being, and may also ease your symptoms”.
Popular forms of exercise
Getting fit doesn’t have to be tough. It doesn’t necessarily mean running, swimming or sweating it out in the gym.
In fact, the most popular forms of activity among the older age group are:
The survey also found that almost three quarters (70 per cent) of over-55s feel younger than their actual age, and of that group, 64 per cent feel at least ten years younger.
‘You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete’
Len Goodman agrees and says: “While the survey findings are encouraging, there is still a way to go to help inspire and support those with long term conditions to stay more active. Your Personal Best aims to do just that – and you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to get involved!”
Arlene Phillips adds: “I’m really passionate about encouraging people aged over 55 to stay more active. My first love is obviously dancing but it could be anything – gardening, playing with your grandchildren or doing housework. The key thing is to just stay active in some way and Your Personal Best will help you to do this.
For more information about the campaign log on to: www.yourpersonalbestcampaign.co.uk.