Getting Limerick Active
Getting Limerick Active

Impact of COVID-19 on Physical Activity on Older People’s Groups

Report on the impact COVID-19 has had on Older Adult engagement in Physical Activity

The report link below is produced by Age & Opportunity with support from Amárach Research and a Stakeholder group from the Sport, Health and Older Persons sectors. 

The insightful report represents the views of older people on how Covid-19 has impacted on their involvement in sport and physical activity and provides a set of recommendations for dealing with potential future health crises, based on the learnings from Covid-19.

 

Other key findings and recommendations from the report include:

  • Covid-19 restrictions have been devastating for groups and fear of getting Covid-19 is the biggest barrier to recommencing group activities, including physical activity.
  • Groups are an important part of our communities and the lives of older people, and physical activities are a core part of all group schedules.
  • Groups with access to safe outdoor and indoor spaces fared better when restrictions were lifted somewhat.
  • Individuals with access to the internet have more opportunities for contact with their group.
  • Men’s groups have been less successful at keeping in touch and getting together.
  • Communication during this crisis has not always been clear or satisfactory. However, internet, phone, post and broadcast media could hold solutions for groups to keep in touch and to keep active.
  • In the aftermath of Covid-19, supports such as access to bigger venues, safe transport, more enabling environments, more and varied physical activity resources for groups and a positive outlook about ageing will be crucial to bringing groups back to life and back to physical activity.

 The context for this work goes beyond access to physical activity.  Many older people have found the lockdown periods severely limiting and traumatising, and we know from research that being active can have a profound influence on quality of life, with positive impacts on physical, psychological and social well-being. 

In line with public health guidelines Age & Opportunity will be working with older people, their groups and relevant stakeholders to address these findings and further the recommendations in this report.  One of our first actions to this end is the nationwide expansion of our FitLine telephone service supported by Sport Ireland and the Healthy Ireland Keep Well Campaign.

Many older people have found the lockdown periods severely limiting & traumatising, and we know from research that being active can have a profound influence on quality of life, with positive impacts on physical, psychological and social well-being.

Age & Opportunity
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