Is Sitting the new Smoking?
Our wellbeing centres are helping older people combat what experts have termed ‘a silent killer, slowly affecting our lifestyle.’
In 2016, the NHS found that adults aged sixty five and over are the UK’s most sedimentary age group, in some cases spending as many as ten hours a day sat down. Professor Stuart Biddle has explained “It could be partly due to reduced functionality, or ill health, but there are also social norms expecting those in later years to ‘slow down’ and rest. That’s not helpful.”
In fact, according to the World Health Organisation physical inactivity is possibly the fourth biggest killer in the world – and has been linked to a myriad of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, colon cancer, heart disease, brittle bones, and dementia. As such, many experts have suggested that ‘sitting is the new smoking’. That is, we know that physical inactivity is bad for us, but as with smoking in the 1990s, little is being done to tackle it.
How can we Combat Inactivity?
The NHS has a number of suggestions on how older people can combat inactivity:
- Try to limit your television habits to a few hours per day, or if not, be sure to stand up and get moving during ad breaks.
- Taking up hobbies such as gardening or DIY, which keep you on your feet. For information on the ‘garden pottering’ club currently being run by Age UK North Tyneside, please contact 0191 2808480.
- Joining community-based fitness classes. You can find Age UK North Tyneside’s ‘love later life’ activities leaflet here, and their recent article on the ‘falling on your feet’ dance and health programme is available here.
- Take the stairs when/if you are able.
- Stand up & walk when taking phonecalls.
- Regularly engaging in rigorous housework, such as hoovering.
- For those times that you are sitting, consider purchasing a more ergonomic chair. These help you slouch less, and engage core muscles whilst sat down.
How can EveryDay help you?
At our three wellbeing centres in Wallsend, Killingworth, and North Shields, we’re looking to keep older people physically engaged through ‘exercise snacking’. These short bursts of light exercise throughout the day have been found to improve muscle mass, as well as mental wellbeing, and falls prevention.
What do our Customers think?
“The service is excellent, staff are brilliant, it’s like a family. They (the wellbeing team) go above and beyond what’s expected of them. The other customers are lovely as well. It’s a fantastic place, really lovely. Mum is enjoying the activities, dominoes, crocheting and exercise classes. Overall it’s been a really positive experience.”
“George used to go to a day centre and this didn’t give me the break I needed. Now he is at Linskill Park, I have a proper break He now gets picked up at 9 am and comes back after 3 giving me time to do what I want. George tells me he is the life and soul of the party.”
For information on how you can secure a free half day trial in one of our wellbeing centres, please visit: https://www.everydayuk.org/wellbeing/, or call 0191 287 7028