Active ageing in the outdoors for older people: working together for a healthier world

ENJOY promotes public health by combining built environment change and physical activity promotion intervention. Through our collaborative framework we aim to address the need for more age-friendly active outdoor spaces that provide opportunities for older people to engage in safe physical and social activities.

Creating inclusive and accessible outdoor environments that encourage and provide opportunities for older adults to engage in physical activity and social interaction is important for healthy ageing.

Only 25% of older people in Australia meet the recommended physical activity guidelines. With higher sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity reported among older people, creating opportunities for older people to engage in outdoor physical activity is important and requires commitment from the community and local governments.

The National Ageing Research Institute in partnership with several local governments, government bodies and stakeholders have been working together to create age-friendly outdoor spaces for older people to engage in physical and social activities for healthier and liveable cities and communities in Victoria.

The design of outdoor public spaces, including parks, leisure spaces and outdoor exercise equipment should be inclusive of all ages and abilities. We have provided some practical recommendations and suggestions for the design of age friendly outdoor spaces.

You can find out more about the evidence for the effectiveness of age-friendly research spaces by reading our research publications.

For further details please contact the project leader Professor Pazit Levinger.

Exercise interveNtion outdoor proJect in the cOmmunitY for older people - More Active People for HEALTHier communities

The ENJOY MAP for HEALTH project has refurbished the following parks to create age-friendly outdoor spaces for older people to engage in physical and social activities:

  • Mt Pleasant Reserve (Ballarat)
  • Ivanhoe Park (Ivanhoe)
  • Thomas St Reserve (Hampton)
  • Carrington Park (Knoxfield)
  • Victoria Park (Boroondara)
  • Wingham Park (Frankston).

This project is a partnership between Banyule City Council, the City of Ballarat, Bayside City Council and Knox City Council, City of Boroondara, Frankston City Council and the National Ageing Research Institute funded through the State Trustees Foundation of Australia.

The ENJOY MAP for HEALTH aims to evaluate the impact of the Seniors Exercise Park (specialised outdoor exercise equipment for older people) and associated capacity building activities on park visitation, park-based physical activity by older people and delivery of community physical activity programs.