Living Longer, Living Stronger, Better health for the cost of a coffee a day! What would most people be willing to pay to improve their physical and mental health? And how much does it cost? One participant in Living Longer Living Stronger, a strength training program for older people summed it up.
'It is a cup of coffee a day, less...' she said.
The National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) today released the findings of their recently completed research into the impact of participation in Living Longer Living Stronger. Participants were tested at four months and eight months. After eight months there were significant improvements in measures of balance, gait, strength and function and in self-reported health and well being. Significant improvements were also evident as early as four months.
As one participant said, "I do think my well being is improved...physical and mental... because I have thought I can actually do it (strength training), it is something I never dreamed I could do and ...I am surprised at how I am enjoying it".
According to NARI researcher, Freda Vrantsidis, the research was unique. "Most findings regarding the benefits of physical activity, including strength training have been obtained in a strictly structured research setting. This research investigates the impact of Living Longer Living Stronger as it operates in the community, so that was exciting", she said.
About 12,500 Victorians over 50 years of age participate in Living Longer Living Stronger at over 100 fitness centres, community health centres and other community facilities. Living Longer Living Stronger is coordinated by Council on the Ageing Victoria (COTA), who first established it in 1999.
COTA Executive Director Sue Hendy says, "The key to Living Longer Living Stronger is that it is delivered locally, but in accordance with COTA's guidelines that specifically facilitate the participation of older people. This research confirms that we have been on the right track over the past nine years ".
The research was funded by The William Buckland Foundation (ANZ Charitable Services). Living Longer Living Stronger™is funded by the Office of Senior Victorians).