Research published into how active older Laois People are

Research published into how active older Laois People are

Laois Sports Partnership supported and initiated a piece of research last year with Dr. Diane Cooper looking at participation rates in middle aged and older adults in Laois so that we could devise future interventions which was published in the Irish Medical Journal (IMJ) last week.


We were delighted to see this research published in the Irish Medical Journal last week. The title of the research paper is “Multimodal Physical Activity Participation in Middle Aged and Older Adults”. Click the link to the paper here to read it.

Multimodal Physical Activity Participation Rates in Middle Aged and Older Adults by John Hayes on Scribd

Summary of the key findings below:

51.6% of participants meet the recommendations for #aerobic exercise for health.

Most participants meet the recommendations for #RESISTANCE (14.4%), #flexibility (6.2%) or #balance training(0%).

This may increase frailty & falls, reduce independent living, well-being & quality of life in later years.


Barriers to participation in physical activity include:

Pain in joints and muscles (44.9%)

Injuries (24.5%)

Clinical conditions (12.9%)

However, it is important to understand that participation in regular multi-modal physical activity can treat and manage many of these issues. This message needs to be communicated to individuals who are affected by these issues and programmes should incorporate support and input from the area of Clinical Exercise Physiology if possible.


In terms of #mentalhealth , participants said physical activity:

Improved their mental health (91.9%, N=217)

Helps them feel less stressed (9 0%, N=212)

They enjoy it (90.5%, N=217)

They want to take part in more physical activity (77.5%, N=248)


Future #PhysicalActivity programmes for middle aged & older adults must incorporate:

(i) Multi-modal PA.
(ii) Education regarding the amount, type & specific benefits of multi-modal PA for healthy ageing & the treatment & management of injuries & clinical conditions.
(iii) Effective online options due to COVID.


What’s next:

Laois Sports Partnership and True Fitness are currently running a 12 week multi-modal online physical activity research study for middle aged and older adults (50-80 yrs) in Laois with 78 participants. This project has received funding from the Sláintecare Integration Fund under grant agreement number 21. The research paper associated with the Sláintecare project will be submitted for publication in January 2021.