Exercising is fun

The National Ageing Research Institute is looking for people aged 65 and over who are generally active in the community to participate in an outdoor exercise study in Thomastown and Hoppers Crossing. For further details please contact the research team phone: 03-83872536, or Email: enjoy@nari.edu.au

In a novel way to combine exercise with fun, a new playground has opened in Hoppers Crossing… for seniors.

The new seniors' exercise park has been installed in partnership with the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and funded by Gandel Philanthropy.

The playground has been set up to see if older people get as much out of play as pre-schoolers in terms of physical and mental health.

Over one to two years, research participants will access the exercise park in a group and receive instruction from an exercise physiologist from NARI. Participants will also receive an initial assessment and their progress will be monitored by NARI.

Project leader Associate Professor Pazit Levinger said that findings from a past study revealed that participants improved muscle strength, balance, and physical function.

The trial, known as Enjoy, also hopes to show that senior outdoor parks help to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

“Physical activity is strongly recommended for older people to reduce health problems but less than 25% of older Australians do enough physical activity to achieve health benefit,” Associate Professor Levinger said.

“Physical activity strategies that are new, attractive and enjoyable for older people are urgently needed,” she added.

NARI is looking for expressions of interest from other councils to expand the trial.