News & Insights 10 March 2021

Sit less and move more to prevent future falls and fractures

Each year, almost one third of over 65’s will experience a fall and the consequential fragility fractures associated with these falls are estimated to cost the NHS £4.4 billion. It’s true that as we age, the likelihood of experiencing a fall or fracture is drastically increased, but we don’t need to accept falls as an inevitable part of getting older. Whilst there are many risks factors for falls and fractures, a lack of physical activity is considered one of the key culprits. That means that each of us can take action to reduce our own individual risk and, with the UK’s rapidly ageing population, promoting functional health has never been more crucial.

With the persistence of the Covid-19 pandemic acting as a catalyst, the focus of healthcare is gradually shifting away from the medical management of disease, and instead towards greater self-prevention and self-management, to limit the growing pressure on our healthcare services and its staff. Taking personal responsibility over your health doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming or difficult and, here at KiActiv®, we aim to empower individuals to recognise that every move they make matters!

Research has highlighted how insufficient levels of physical activity in combination with maintaining a sedentary lifestyle may exacerbate the physiological effects of ageing. Such effects could include a decline in total energy expenditure, maximal oxygen consumption and resting metabolic rate, resulting in the development of chronic diseases, adverse health factors and, ultimately, frailty.

Thankfully, this can be both prevented and treated by simply engaging in physical activity – and it’s never too late to start! A 2019 study by da Silva and colleagues demonstrated that, by reducing sedentary time and increasing the amount of time spent moving during the day, older adults can greatly reduce their risk of future fractures. Even replacing just 30 minutes of sedentary time across your week with some light to moderate activity can reduce your risk of fragility fractures later in life by 14%.

The best news is that those 30 additional minutes don’t have to involve a sweaty HIIT workout or going out for a long run as, let’s face it, structured exercise can be both daunting and unappealing to many of us. There are plenty of other activities you can be doing to minimise that sedentary time and consequential fracture risk – it’s all about finding out what works best for you. For some people, this may be taking the dogs out for a walk, doing some gardening or adding a few extra minutes onto your daily commute; for others, dancing around the kitchen, making the bed or baking may be much more appealing.

There is no one ‘right’ way to be active, in fact, the possibilities are endless! Instead, it’s important to understand that every move you make matters for your current and future health. Healthy ageing is both achievable and desirable for all, especially when you begin to acknowledge the value in each and every one of your everyday movements. It’s never too late to start moving more and living a healthier, happier life!

The KiActiv® Team