State Trustees Australia Foundation is getting behind a major research program aimed at encouraging older people to become physically active.
Through its Grassroots Grants program, the Foundation is supporting ENJOY, a community exercise park program initiated by NARI which hopes to raise a sweat among older people. Two parks are now installed in Wyndham and Whittlesea in Victoria, and a third will be opened this year at the Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria’s village in St Helena.
Associate Professor Pazit Levinger, the project leader, said that less than 25% of older Australians do enough physical activity to achieve health benefit.
“The exercise parks have been purpose built for inactive older people,” she said.
The next stage in the project include training allied health professionals to learn how to use the exercise parks with their own clients and other groups.
“We will link in with the many different groups in these communities, including Adult Active programs and community leisure centres, so that the exercise parks are well used,” she said.
The training will include how to use the exercise parks safely so that older people become more confident and start leading their own activities.
“We are keen to involve older people as ambassadors who can support their peers to become more active, and enjoy exercising outside,” Associate Professor Levinger added.
The final stage of the project is to develop instructional videos and other materials which show how to do each exercise properly together with training tips.