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Active Ageing for Falls Prevention – Erasmus+ funded project kicks off in Nice

By Maria Malyshkina, ISCA

Yes, we’re living longer – but are we living better? The Erasmus+ funded project Active Ageing for Falls Prevention aims to encourage participation in sport and physical activity, including traditional sport, games and intergenerational sport, and equal opportunities in sport, to address an important public health and socio-economic problem. Regular physical activity could help tackle the risk of falling as we age, and the project, which kicked off at the first partner meeting in Nice, France, is set to highlight this potentially life-saving link.

Globally, 1/3 of adults over the age of 65 and 32-40% of adults aged over 70 fall each year, and 5% of all falls result in bone fracture. Age is one of the key risk factors for falls, and older people have the highest risk of death or serious injury arising from a fall and this risk increases with age.

As people’s life expectancies are increasing worldwide, the question is whether the extra time added to our lives will comprise healthy years and quality of life. It is not only the need for geriatric treatment that is a concern in an increasingly ageing population, but for older people, the consequence of falling can include fractures and head injuries, fear of falling, loss of confidence, and self-restricted activity levels leading to a reduction in physical function and social interaction. In turn, the restriction of activities impedes physical capacity and exacerbates the risk of further falls.

Physical activity (PA) serves a protective factor for noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer and PA is associated with improved mental health, delay in the onset of dementia, and improved quality of life and wellbeing. Improvements in mental health, emotional, psychological, and social well-being and cognitive function are also associated with regular PA.

By encouraging the practice of sport and PA, as well as providing opportunities for education in sport, particularly by supporting skills development in sport, and promoting the quality of coaching and staff, the project is intended to promote active ageing.

Active ageing means maintaining positive subjective well-being, good physical, social and mental health with involvement in one's family, peer group and / or community during aging process.

The Active Ageing for Falls Prevention project and its outcomes align with EU priorities and key policy documents, including the initiative #HealthyLifestyleForAll by encouraging healthy lifestyle for older people and the Digital Education Action Plan by improving digital literacy of trainers and promoting the use of digital tools in sport sector.

Aimed at building capacity of organisations and sport practitioners to work transnationally and across sectors, the project will focus on enhancing exercise opportunities among older people and disseminating a learning package among wider range of practitioners and enhancing the sustainability of this process.

The project partners met at the end of March in Nice, France, to kick-off this inspiring project and discuss the main project deliverables, the timeline and align the efforts to ensure the smooth delivery of the project tasks. The partners shared many valuable insights during the two-day meeting, including the local differences between the supporting programmes already developed in different countries, and are ready to contribute with their expertise to this cause. We are very excited about this project and are honoured to work with the professionals who have long-standing experience in this area. The project is expanding on the work completed by lead coordinator the Sports Union of Slovenia on an inclusive Active Ageing Festival, which was also supported by the EU.

Project partners:

  • Sports Union of Slovenia, Slovenia
  • International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA), Denmark
  • UKK Institute, Finland
  • National Institute of Public Health, Slovenia
  • Centro Universitario Sportivo Palermo, Italy
  • Association “Azur Sport Santé, France
Posted on 16/04/2024 by Maria Malyshkina, ISCA


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