Getting Limerick Active
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Getting Limerick Active
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Reflecting on the Move for Life Online Conference

Promoting Physical Activity for Inactive adults aged 50+ years

As part of Positive Aging Week 2021, Physical Activity for Health (PAfH) research cluster at University of Limerick along with Limerick Sports Partnership held a 3-day online conference from 28th to the 30th of September for individuals involved in policy, research or practice in physical activity promotion for inactive adults aged 50+ years. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our partners for participating in the Move for Life Study.

Below is a summary of the sessions that took place over the 3-day conference. We have included links to the presentation slides (plus videos) and research findings presented during the sessions.

Welcome and Introductions:

Sarah O’Brien, national HSE lead for health eating and active living provided an overview of the Move for Life study and set the scene for the policy context and levels of Physical Activity in Adults 50+ in Ireland at the beginning of each of the three days.


Day 1:

Session 1

Prof Liam Glynn and Dr. Andrew O’Regan, the General Practitioner Team from UL’s School of Medicine discussed Physical Activity for health and the lessons learned from the Move for life study.

Prof Alan Donnelly and Dr. Grainne Hayes from the Health Research Institute at UL presented the Move for Life findings on Sedentary behaviour and its impact on health.

Session 2

Mary Harkin, the Policy, Research and Evaluation Manager from Age and Opportunity highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on Older Adult groups i.e. ‘Locked In! Locked Out! Locked Up!’.

Day 2:

Session 1

Dr Andrew O’Regan talked about recruitment and the importance of getting the message right to generate buy-in to interventions such as Move for Life.

Dr Amanda Clifford & Dr Enrique García Bengoechea discussed the development of the Move for Life ‘pragmatic’ intervention.

Session 2

Dr Grainne Hayes & Caera Grady demonstrated the various methods of measuring and recording Physical Activity that were used throughout the study.

Day 3:

Session 1

Prof Catherine Woods & Dr Enrique García Bengoechea, building on presentations from previous days, outlining the findings from Move for life study. The findings concluded that existing LSP programmes provide evidence of ‘goodness’ and the Move for life augmentation intervention provides ‘promise’ and warrants a definitive trial to further examine the effectiveness of the Move for life intervention.

Prof Paddy Gillespie provided an overview of the Health Economics Analysis of Move for Life, which alluded to the feasibility of the methodology and potential cost effectiveness of the Move for life intervention.

Session 2

Finally, Phelim Maken & John Sweeney of the Limerick and Clare Local Sports Partnerships (respectively) presented the role of the LSPs in the Move for Life intervention and the importance of bridging the gap between research and practice.

Move for Life publications:

  1. An evaluation of an intervention designed to help inactive adults become more active with a peer mentoring component: a protocol for a cluster randomised feasibility trial of the Move for Life programme – PubMed (
  2. Juggling with theory, evidence, practice, and real-world circumstances: Development of a complex community intervention to increase physical activity in inactive adults aged 50 years and older – The Move for Life Study – ScienceDirect
  3. How to improve recruitment, sustainability and scalability in physical activity programmes for adults aged 50 years and older: A qualitative study of key stakeholder perspectives (


Thank you to all the chairs for each session: Prof Andrew Murphy, Prof Catherine Woods, Prof Stephen Gallagher, Maureen Foley-Walsh, Dr Ali Sheiki, Benny Cullen

Thank you to Marie Curtin and Caera Grady for all the technical support and organisation of the conference.

Finally, thank you to everyone who logged in and engaged with the conference over the three days and especially to all the participants, tutors/sports development officers, peer mentors and researchers who helped make the move for life study possible.

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