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

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.

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.

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

The ENJOY project provides a unique opportunity for outdoor physical and social activities, tailored to the needs of older people.

The ENJOY research project is a partnership between the National Ageing Research Institute and Whittlesea City Council, Wyndham City Council, Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria and Gandel Philanthropy.

The ENJOY project evaluates the effects of sustained engagement in physical activity on mental health and physical outcomes through the use of a community-based novel outdoor physical activity program for older people - the Seniors Exercise Park.

The project provides a unique opportunity for outdoor physical activity that is tailored to the needs of older people, who are an at-risk group for sedentary-related illnesses. It also facilitates social connection and community engagement, while supporting mental health.

Results from the ENJOY project suggest that the Seniors Exercise Park may be an effective way of improving older people’s physical function and wellbeing. It can also be an important investment in public health infrastructure that promotes physical activity for older people.

The ENJOY project's achievements

Winner of the 2021 Vic/Tas Parks and Leisure Australia Research Award

Finalist in the Leading Health Promotion Research Category in the 2021 VicHealth awards.

Featured on the Heart Foundation’s Healthy Active by Design Website (HAbD) for promoting healthy and active ageing in the community.

Finalist in the Promoting Health Through Physical Activity and Sport Category in the 2019 VicHealth Awards.

Research Support

Gandel Philanthropy, State Trustees Foundation of Australia, The Brockhoff Foundation.