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Stay active in 2019: How yoga is keeping older people healthy

Keeping active is an important part of staying healthy as we grow older. From a walk to the corner shop or seated exercises for those with less mobility, regular exercise is essential for keeping our bodies and minds healthy.

Northumbria University are conducting a £1.4m study into the positive effects of yoga on older people with long term health conditions. Funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), the four-year study will be aimed at the two-thirds people aged over 65 who have two or more long-term health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma. Mental health problems such as depression and anxiety are also included.

Older people with a number of long-term health issues are more likely to see their GP, take prescription drugs and be admitted to hospital, which accounts for 70% of NHS expenditure. The aim of this study is to define a cost-effective alternative treatment and reduce older people’s reliance on medicine.

The study will be led by Professor Garry Tew and will recruit approximately 600 participants aged 65 or over across 12 different locations in the UK. The control group will receive their additional care without any additional support, whereas the second group will be invited to join a specially crafted 12-week yoga programme for older people. This programme involves weekly group-based sessions and encouragement to perform specific yoga practices at home.

Professor Tew commented: “We’ll also be measuring participants’ use of health care resources, which will allow us to establish the cost-effectiveness of the yoga programme. If these results are positive, they will provide evidence for healthcare commissioners to fund yoga within the NHS.”

Avant Care Workers support our customers with staying active, accompanying them on social trips and assisting our less mobile customers both in and outside their homes. If you or a loved one require care, please contact us on 0203 805 0610 or email [email protected]

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