In 30 years, more than one in four people in the UK will be aged over 65. Dr Cassandra Phoenix and Dr Noreen Orr have been working with groups of older adults to understand how physical activity can shape the ageing process – and people’s perceptions of it.
Engaging with groups across Cornwall, the two year project has involved photography, in-depth interviews and focus groups. The research team has worked closely with Age UK and the Cornwall Sports Partnership to ensure the insights they’ve gained can deliver a real impact to the future health and wellbeing of both local and national populations.
In other efforts aimed to leverage Cornwall’s strengths in the development of technology enabled healthcare, including Superfast broadband, eHealth expert Dr Stephen Graham is seeking to understand how social media can be used to understand and alleviate community health issues.
This pioneering work in the collection and use of novel data is allowing researchers – and the Cornish businesses they’re working with – to ‘take the pulse’ of local populations and identify changes in conditions such as mental wellbeing and chronic pain, particularly in vulnerable groups such as a rapidly ageing population.
It’s been really valuable to both me and my swimming group to be able to tell our stories and make our voices heard. I hate the idea of people viewing old age as a decline, with the right attitude and support the years after retirement can be some of the best.
Wendy Hoskin, Sea Swimmer