Physical activity has impacted on seniors’ health

The promotion of an active and healthy lifestyle in ageing populations is becoming increasingly important. Physical activity has been shown to significantly reduce all-cause mortality and to contribute to the prevention of many chronic illnesses (Smith et al., 2017). Unfortunately, research shows that globally, the proportion of people, who are active enough to be able to gain these health benefits is low and decreases even more with age. The recent worldwide coronavirus outbreak has further limited opportunities for maintaining an active lifestyle, particularly for older individuals. Due to the increased mortality risk for older adults, they are recommended to stay-at-home as much as possible. While this measure can protect over-burdened healthcare systems, and save the lives of many individuals in the high-risk groups, they also present a concern given the well-established increased risk of mental health problems associated with social isolation in older adults (Callow et al., 2020). Sedentary behaviour has been shown to also negatively affect mood and depressive symptoms and is associated with cognitive decline in older adults.

The ReMember–Me system is a tool designed to motivate users to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It will monitor physical activity of seniors through a fitness tracker. Data collected through the fitness tracker will include information about steps made, distance travelled, calories burned, types of physical activities (running, walking) and their intensity. All this data will help get a better picture of senior’s overall physical condition.

In this video, Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone from the Harvard Medical school talks about the importance and benefits of regular exercise for the brain: