Why do we do research in this area?
Successful ageing is defined as a low risk of disease and disability, high mental and physical function, and active engagement with life.
An older person who remains fit and active is more likely to retain physical and cognitive function, prevent disease and disability, and enjoy independence, mental wellbeing and a higher quality of life. However, older people are the least active of all age groups.
A key to successful ageing is to:
- Understand what type of physical activity is required to maintain function.
- Find ways of facilitating greater levels of physical activity to help older people to sustain their capacity to undertake activities of daily living, retain good physical function, maintain social networks and enjoy later life to the full.
What do we do?
Staff and research students in Sport, Health and Exercise Science at Bath undertake interdisciplinary research projects focusing primarily on the application of motivational and behaviour maintenance processes to promotion of active ageing.
Our work includes the study of biological and mechanical limiting physical factors and their impact on functional ability, trips and falls in later life. We explore the nature of the relationship between physical activity and well-being and investigate the physical, psychosocial, and environmental determinants of physical activity participation.
This scientific knowledge informs the development and evaluation of lifestyle interventions in a range of health and community settings.
Examples of our research
Development and piloting of a model of neighbourhood support for promotion of active ageing: Project ACE (Active, Connected and Engaged)
|Aim||To develop and pilot a pragmatic, sustainable and low cost model of volunteering action to promote active ageing in the community.|
|People||Dr Afroditi Stathi (Principal Investigator), Ken Fox (Bristol), Janice Thompson (Bristol), Mark Davis (Bristol), Liz Lloyd (Bristol), Selena Gray (UWE), Graham Parkhust (UWE), Robin Gargrave (YMCA), Rosi Prescott (YMCA), Janet Dabbs (Age UK), Jonathan Amphlett (Bristol City Council), Robert Laventure (BHF National Centre for physical activity and health), Derek Rees (Service User Representative) and Ann Smith (Service User Representative)|
|Funder||Medical Research Council (Lifelong Health and Well-Being Initiative - Phase 3)|
The Avon Network for Physical Activity Promotion of Older People in the community
|Aim||To develop a strong multidisciplinary partnership with academics, national agencies, policy-makers, primary care trusts, public health departments, service providers, local councils, volunteer organisations and charitable trusts.|
|People||Dr Afroditi Stathi (Principal Investigator), Prof Ken Judge, Ken Fox (Bristol), Janice Thompson (Bristol), Liz Lloyd (Bristol), Debbie Sharp (Bristol), Randall Smith (Bristol), Selena Gray (UWE), Graham Parkhust (UWE), Jonathan Amphlett (Bristol City Council), Claire Lowman (Bristol City Council), Natalie Field (Bristol PCT), Lynda Dean (BANES council), Robert Laventure (BHF National Centre for physical activity and health)|
|Funder||Medical Research Council (Lifelong Health and WellBeing Initiative - Phase 2)|
Older People and Active Living (Project OPAL)
|Aim||To characterise physical activity levels and patterns of people aged 70 and above and provide information on their engagement in active pastimes and journeys.|
|People||Ken Fox (Principal Investigator: Bristol), Dr Afroditi Stathi, Janice Thompson (Bristol), Jo Coulson (Bristol), Mark Davis (Bristol), Tanya Trayers (Bristol), Ray Forrest (Bristol), Debbie Sharp (Bristol), Rich Harris (Bristol), Ashley Cooper (Bristol), Jim McKenna (Leeds), Melvyn Hillsdon (Exeter)|
|Funder||National Prevention Research Initiative|
Contributions to successful trip recovery
|Aim||To determine the limiting physical factors to successful recovery from a trip with a view to establishing the most appropriate physical interventions to reduce fall risk.|
|People||Dr Grant Trewartha, Dr Polly McGuigan, Paulien Roos (Cardiff)|
|Funder||University of Bath|