World Health Day: good health adds life to years

Older person dancing
World Health Day is celebrated on April 7 to mark the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The theme for World Health Day 2012 is ageing and health and it will provide a great opportunity for organisations and individuals worldwide to promote and showcase the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle for the ageing population.

In Scotland, the pensionable population is projected to reach 24.1% of the total population by 2033, in comparison with children who would account for 16.2%.* There is no doubt that the country’s demography is ageing.

The benefits of an active later life cannot be underestimated

The benefits of an active later life can't be underestimated, and what's more, active ageing is a lot of fun!

Health takes on a particular significance in later life and exercise contributes towards a longer healthy life expectancy. Recent evidence even suggests that exercise by over 75s can regain 20 years of lost strength, so the benefits of an active later life cannot be underestimated.

The benefits of active ageing include:

  • preventing and reducing falls though by building muscle strength and improving balance and posture
  • reducing the risk of long term conditions such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis
  • improving mobility, personal independence and social inclusion.

In short, exercise and staying active is really good for your health!

Man going for a run

Get active and enjoy the great outdoors.

If you’re looking to get fit and healthy and enjoy a more active lifestyle, there will be activities in your local area. Check your local council website to see what community events and facilities are available.

Age Scotland also has over 500 member groups across Scotland. There may be one in your area that includes active ageing and healthy living as part of its remit. Check our local services map to see what’s close to you.

World Health Day comes ahead of the World Congress on Active Ageing, which comes to Glasgow in August. Age Scotland is involved with the Congress and is sponsoring the Seniors’ Pass, which gives people the freedom to experience the event in full. If you are keen to learn more about active ageing, this is the event for you.

There is a wide variety of information on World Health Day and active ageing. See below for more links:

*At Home With Scotland’s Older People, Facts and Figures 2011 – 12

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