Liverpool drops risk of falls by 17% with Technogym solution
On average, 30 per cent of all over-65-year-olds and 50 per cent of over-80-year-olds fall down at least once a year.
This contributes to a national incidence rate of hip fractures of approximately 458 cases per year, resulting in a substantial cost for the NHS.
In Liverpool this incidence rate is significantly higher (476 cases per year) due to an increasingly ageing population, according to the Liverpool Health Profile 2011.
If current trends continue it is predicted that half of the local population in Liverpool will be aged 50 or over by 2024.
To counteract this problem, leading wellness company Technogym and Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust have implemented the Liverpool Liveability programme, promoting health and independence amongst older people.
Results recently published from the year-long study have shown that over-65-year-olds benefited from improvements in physical actively levels, increased confidence in balance and a reduced risk of falls.
In order to create opportunities that move previously inactive over-65s forward into mainstream gym facilities, the Liveability model used a specialist Technogym equipment range, Easyline, in a city-wide approach at locations not normally associated with exercise.
These included community centres, care homes, schools, hospitals and fire station as well as typical gyms Easyline is designed for those that are not familiar with using gym equipment.
It employs a revolutionary design and does not use weights, making it easy to transport, install and use.
The study undertaken by Liverpool John Moores University monitored the impact of two hours of instructor-led gym-type activity on Easyline over a 12-week period.
Findings showed that one hour, twice a week, of low intensity exercise was sufficient to have a significant effect on participants.
The study reported a 17 per cent reduction in falls and a 7 per cent increase in confidence in balance.
It was also effective in motivating participants to be more active at home, with everyone involved maintaining their improved physical activity levels up to six months after the 12-week programme had finished.
Fitness increased by 36 per cent six months after the intervention, with a reported 80 per cent improvement in the group’s physical fitness.
‘Encouraging people to be more active is something we are very committed to,’ said Bernie Cuthel, Chief Executive of Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust.
‘As these latest findings show, even just a small increase in activity levels can make a dramatic difference to someone’s overall health and wellbeing – especially in older age.
Easyline has proved invaluable in helping us to make this programme possible.
Targeting a population that is typically intimidated by a normal gym setting meant it was important to create an inviting environment with machines that are straightforward to use.’
Following the success of the Liverpool Liveability initiative, a similar programme has been implemented in Great Yarmouth with the support of Technogym and is already showing an 80 per cent compliance rate and an average weight loss of 6.5lbs in just 12 weeks.
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