Wellbeing plan sees pensioners walk twice as far as average Briton

Inspired Villages has joined forces with three high profile wellness organisations to boost the health and wellbeing of the Inspired community.

The national retirement living operator is working with ukactive, digital wellness experts, hero and Oomph! to dramatically improve the physical, social and mental wellbeing of its residents around the UK. The recently launched initiative offers a groundbreaking holistic wellbeing programme based on what residents want, and has already seen the residents of one Inspired village clock up more than 7 million steps in the space of just six weeks.

During the initial pilot period, 30 residents of a later living village, in Exeter, Devon, have clocked up an average of 8,109 steps a day – that’s more than double that of the average Briton, which stands at 3,000-4,000 steps a day.* Together they achieved a combined distance of over 3,500 miles – that’s the equivalent of walking to Torronto.

As part of the pilot scheme at Millbrook Village, Inspired has appointed Leah Jackson as a ‘Wellbeing Navigator’. Leah’s role involves inspiring and engaging the village residents to be more physically active and to connect them with employees who can support them.
Nigel and Pauline Epps are among Millbrook’s residents who have been wearing Fitbits as part of the scheme.

Nigel said: “The initiative has transformed our approach to mobility and subsequently improved our quality of life. We’ve both averaged more than 10,000 steps a day.”

Fellow Millbrook residents Veronica and George Pert have also benefited.

Veronica said: “Thanks to this great scheme introduced by Inspired Villages, there’s no doubt we’re doing more exercise because we’re being measured and can compete against each other, which is a huge driver and the hero platform meant we could compete and compare – motivating us to do more.”

Jamie Bunce, Director of Inspired Villages, said: “Health and wellbeing are embedded in our culture, which is why we’re committed to helping our residents to live happy, healthy and active lives. It’s wonderful to see that this latest initiative has improved the quality of their lives.”

A total of £7.67 billion of NHS and healthcare savings could be achieved if one third of inactive over-55s were supported to be physically active over the next 10 years, according to a report by ukactive.**

Meanwhile, the importance of older people maintaining meaningful engagement with the world around them has been highlighted by Age UK’s ‘Index of Wellbeing in Later Life’.***

The Index shows this engagement could be through social, creative or physical activity, or through employment or belonging to a community group.

Prior to the launch of this initiative, hero carried out a digital ‘wellness survey’ of Inspired Villages’ residents to understand the needs, wants and issues facing the community.

The Inspired Villages initiative aims to use physical activity to improve the overall quality of life for residents by helping to reduce loneliness and isolation too, which are recognised by the government as growing challenges.

Joe Gaunt, hero’s Founder and CEO commented on this project: “It’s great to see Inspired Villages taking the lead and proactively managing wellness in this innovative way. Our role has been to encourage and educate residents in a bid to proactively manage all aspects of health and wellness. We’ve also provided support to the busy schedule of community events such as nutrition-led cookery classes and group fitness sessions. It’s an incredibly exciting project and the results really do speak for themselves. Using the hero platform enabled this trial to be about more than just activity but also promoting connected communities, enhancing wellness and mindfulness.”

Not-for-profit health body ukactive is providing independent research and evaluation to demonstrate how the trial influences changes in the health and wellbeing of the Inspired residents over the course of a year. CEO of ukactive, Steven Ward, said: “Increasing our daily physical activity at any stage of life can have a huge impact on our health and happiness. This is an incredibly exciting collaboration with Inspired Villages and could help to change the way we look at later life.”

Oomph!, the UK’s leading wellbeing business for older adults, will also be supporting the scheme by providing exercise classes, creative activities and days out for Inspired Villages’ residents.
In partnership with Legal & General, Inspired Villages owns and operates seven later living villages around the UK – in Hampshire, Devon, West Sussex, Kent, Warwickshire and Cheshire – with more on the way. Find out more at: www.inspiredvillages.co.uk

*Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-33154510
**Source: https://www.ukactive.com/reports/reimagining-ageing/
***Source: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/reports-and-briefings/health–wellbeing/ageuk-wellbeing-index-summary-web.pdf

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