Call for innovation to help people live active lives

Call for innovation to help people live active lives

25 Jul 2012

New campaign from the UK’s innovation agency invites people to talk about how innovative new products, systems and services could help people stay healthy and active 

·  Over two thirds of Brits (69 per cent) want to be more active and physically healthy

·  One in 10 adults over 50 never does any form of physical activity and 20% of over 65s describe themselves as being in poor or very poor physical health

·   Nearly one in three adults over 50 (29 per cent) say that an exciting product that inspired them to exercise would be the tipping point to make them do more

·  Nearly half of adults (45 per cent) who want to be more active said they would be happy to spend money on a product or service that made it easier for them to stay healthy

Britain is increasingly being labelled as an unhealthy nation, but a new poll commissioned by the Tomorrow Together campaign from the Technology Strategy Board showsthat 43.6 million Brits want to be more active and that almost half of these would spend money on a product or service to help. The poll reveals that, there is a need for innovation to help people lead active lives.

Currently, one in five people aged over 65 describe themselves as being in poor or very poor physical health and one in 10 adults over 50 say that they never do any form of physical activity. The Technology Strategy Board is asking people of all ages to join a conversation about how innovation could help give older adults the opportunities they need to be more healthy and active, as part of its Tomorrow Together campaign, a project designed to get people talking about the need for new services to improve quality of life with a focus of older adults.

According to the latest figures from the Technology Strategy Board, nearly a third[1] of adults over 50 agree that an exciting product that inspired them to exercise would be the tipping point to make them do more. Taking into account the fact that 80% of the UK’s wealth rests with the over 50s, this is a compelling case for businesses and entrepreneurs to make the most of this diverse and profitable older adult market to improve products and services.

It is medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have up to an 83 per cent lower risk of osteoarthritis, up to a 50 per cent lower risk of diabetes or colon cancer, and up to a 30 per cent lower risk of dementia, as well as many other benefits[2]. Considering that our muscles lose 10 per cent of their strength each decade, keeping fit and active throughout our lives plays a crucial part in maintaining independence in later life.

 Jackie Marshall-Cyrus, Lead Specialist for the Technology Strategy Board’s Assisted Living Innovation Platform, commented:

“We are all ageing, so it’s in everyone’s interest to make sure that products, systems and services for older adults are improving. When it comes to staying healthy and active, one of the major challenges for people is staying motivated – 37 per cent of people who want to be more active than they are cited lack of motivation as a barrier – so there is a clear need for creative innovation to help people of all ages stay motivated in order for us all to live independently for longer.”

A third of adults in the UK (33 per cent) said that lack of time was a major barrier to exercising, and a quarter (24 per cent) aren’t willing to change their lifestyles to exercise more – so bearing in mind that we are a time poor nation, coupled with the fact that we are living longer, clever innovations that take into account our lifestyle and help us all stay healthy are more in demand than ever.

 Mike Biddle, Innovation Platform Leader for the Technology Strategy Board’s Assisted Living Innovation Platform, said:

 “The innovations that we need in this area are far more divergent and more creative than anything that exists at the moment. This kind of creativity comes about through collaboration, which we actively encourage through our programmes. The demand for better products and services exists, so it is up to businesses and entrepreneurs to respond to that, and up to the public to talk about what it is that they need to be healthier and more active in later life.”

Tomorrow Together

The Technology Strategy Board is asking people of all generations to help make later life happier and healthier by join the conversation about innovation and active lives at www.tomorrowtogether.org.uk or on Twitter at @TomorrowTogethr.  By taking part in a conversation about the things that need to change to help make life as we grow older happier, more fulfilling and more independent, people are taking action to make a better tomorrow, together with others.

View the press release including notes to editors here

[1] 29 per cent of GB adults over 50 years old surveyed  by Populus (see notes to editors for more detail)

[2] Source: NHS UK

 

Last updated on Wednesday 25 July 2012 at 08:51

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