Dr Ashley Gluchowski | University of Salford
Competition Sponsor: United Kingdom Research and Innovation
Awardee Year: 2023
Physical inactivity costs the UK £7 billion each year and is responsible for 1 in every 6 deaths. Although a number of exercise programmes have aimed to address the global challenge of ageing and inactivity, there continues to be a shortage of successful programmes in real-world settings. When older adults become inactive, they lose their strength and become weak. Older adults who are weak are more likely to have a fall, become hospitalized, depressed, develop diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, and live in a care home much earlier than they should.
Providing people with an exercise programme while they are still healthy, and before they shown signs of muscle weakness can prevent these devastating outcomes. Exercise referral as a routine part of healthcare and providing all adults the opportunity and benefits of participating in exercise will also help to reduce health inequalities in later life.
Research shows that doctors don’t feel confident discussing or referring exercise to their patients. While our research shows that older adults and exercise providers are unaware of exercise guidelines, the benefits of exercise participation, and where to turn to for support.
Our mission is to connect older adults with the tailored exercise programs that are proven to lower the risk of disability and disease. Our platform will be an easy-to-use tool for doctors and exercise providers to support exercise awareness, knowledge, referral, and support while its use will lead to a happier, healthier, and more active population.