Prof Roger O’Sullivan and Dr Andrew Boyd
GPs have an important role to play in helping older people throughout Longford to get more physical activity, according to health experts.
A seminar organised by the Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH) presented research examining how older people can increase their levels of physical activity.
Just 26% of older people across the country report taking part in healthy levels of weekly physical activity.
Guidelines recommend that those aged 65 and over should aim to get 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity weekly to achieve benefits for every aspect of health.
Dr Andrew Boyd, activity champion from the Royal College of General Practitioners, told those gathered that Ireland must focus on getting older people active as our population ages. He indicated that GPs have an important role to play in supporting all patients to optimise their physical activity and that GPs and other health professionals in Longford can be roles models for active and healthy lives.
He also pointed to the fact that GPs and health professionals can empower older people to recognise the benefits of being more active and take control of their own health and lifestyle
“GPs are key to older people getting more physical activity,” Dr Boyd added.
“Older people have a strong connection and professional relationship with their GP. GPs, with the support of other health professionals, have an important role to play in providing information to older people and signposting them to physical activity opportunities in their local community.”
Over 977,000 people are currently aged 65 or over across the island.
This will increase to over 2 million people by 2051.
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