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Older adults

As you get older, you're far more likely to become inactive. But this isn't necessarily because of age or physical ability.

At a glance

Getting older adults active

We have an ageing population – the number of people aged 60 or over is expected to pass the 20 million mark by 2030 according to the Office for National Statistics.

We know that as you get older, you’re far more likely to become inactive. Our research shows that 42 per cent of people aged 55 and over are inactive compared to 29 per cent of the adult population.

This can be for a range of reasons and not necessarily directly connected to age and physical ability. It can be work, greater family and caring commitments and even social attitudes about the ‘right time’ to start getting active.

But those who are least active stand to benefit the most in terms of their health and happiness by getting active. It’s true even for seemingly small changes like walking slightly faster or further than you normally would.

Two people playing hockey outdoors.


Breaking stereotypes

While we know getting active is hard, and that lapsing and re-lapsing is common, there shouldn’t be an assumption that older adults can’t be active, so we need to work hard to break down these stereotypes.

It’s for these reasons that we’re focusing on tackling inactivity in older people.

Our strategy – Uniting the Movement

Encouraging older adults to be more involved in sport and activity through campaigns such as We Are Undefeatable and our Active Ageing fund was a crucial part of our Towards an Active Nation strategy - and this continues in our new 10-year, Uniting the Movement, strategy.

Movement makes people happier and healthier, and it does the same thing for our communities – with life-changing, sustainable benefits that have huge economic and social value.

Uniting the Movement is our plan to make being physically active a normal part of life for everyone in England – to make it easier for all of us as we go about our everyday lives.

Because currently, it’s not always a level playing field.

Lean more about our Uniting the Movement strategy

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