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Inactivity in older adults.
Over a quarter of adults in Lincolnshire are classified as inactive. This figure rises to nearly a third of residents if aged 55-74 and over half [50%] if aged over 75. Active Lincolnshire commissioned Social Change to conduct research to understand the factors influencing this inactivity in older adults and explore the barriers they face with regard to engaging in activities.
A mixed methodology
Initial desk research and analysis of local data was undertaken in order to understand the issue of inactivity across Lincolnshire and to inform further research with the local population.
We employed a mixture of quantitative and qualitative research methods to capture the views of both older adults and stakeholders working with older adults in Lincolnshire. We conducted online surveys with the target audience to explore the gaps in knowledge highlighted by the desk-research. Following this, we held engagement events to further explore key themes and insights which arose from the surveys.
This research provided a range of insights and actionable recommendations for Active Lincolnshire and key stakeholders, including:
- Take a 'health by stealth' approach and encourage older residents to be more active through integrating activity into social groups.
- Promote activities for families and friends to do together as a group.
- Reframe the conversation around physical activity so it is not regarded as an extra activity or a chore. Using the science of behavioural defaults, physical activity needs to be embedded into daily life.
- Use both online and offline channels to advertise activities in local communities - especially important for older residents (print is not dead).
- Re-design activities for those over 50 to appeal to 'younger older people' who are looking for less traditional activities and who are 'young at heart'
The report has been handed over to Active Lincolnshire and their strategic partners who will be using the findings in their 'next steps' plan.