Globally, physical activity promotion is crucial for public health and disease prevention as physically inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for mortality.
According to the World Health Organisation, by 2050, there will be equally as many seniors and children in the world, and within Australia, the number of older people is projected to be 22% of the population.
Today, seniors are commonly separated into two types of demographics: YOLD, who are typically 50-80 years old and Ageing Seniors, who are 70-100 years old. YOLD's are generally more youthful in appearance, driven to be active, develop less lifestyle-related diseases, and maintain their cognitive function. Whereas Ageing Seniors often have limited capacity, are dependent on others, suffer from reduced qualify of life and are exposed to more lifestyle diseases.
Being active outdoors provides a magnitude of benefits, including mental, physical, and social health that helps to prevent:
Loss of muscle mass
A decline in cognitive impairment
Risk of falling
Therefore, there is an increased demand for local governments, planners, developers and policymakers to strategically promote and construct diverse outdoor fitness spaces for communities to ensure Australians of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to maintain physical activity.
Promoting healthy living behaviour through the installation of outdoor exercise equipment has demonstrated promising outcomes according to research and is a cost-effective strategy for increased park utilisation and positively impacts economies. It is estimated that the Australian cost of care is approximately $3.7 billion per annum in order to rehabilitate and care for people over the age of 65 years after experiencing a serious fall.
In order to conceptualise purpose-built solutions for active agers, several factors need to be considered such as:
Functionality of equipment
Layout of a site including surrounding environmental attributes
Locality of a site
End-users physical and mental needs
Senior Manager, Morten Zacho of the KOMPAN Fitness Institute, said, "The best exercise for preventing most lifestyle diseases and promoting physical activity levels is a combination of cardio, strength and mobility training".
When working with KOMPAN, you can create intergenerational fitness spaces that cater for users of all ages and abilities or purpose-built senior and rehabilitation fitness parks.
KOMPAN's Stay Fit portfolio is designed to promote active and healthy aging and offers a range of training stations, each providing fundamental skills training that helps active agers to navigate challenges they face daily. Within the range, you will find an Up and Go unit, Surface Challengers, Balance and Stretch Stations, Flex Wheel, and Stair and Ramp Solutions, all of which provide valuable means of prevention and rehabilitation.