New walking app could make later life healthier and happier
Accessible via mobile phone or tablet, it is one of the innovations developed and tested by new research that set out to produce practical, low-cost mobility aids encouraging older people to get out and about and to sustain healthy lifestyles.
The University of York led the research, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing initiative. The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) provided additional funding.
By highlighting steep slopes, uneven pavements, busy roads and other challenging features that can then be avoided, ‘Walking for Well-Being’ could be used to support people who want to visit friends, access shops and use local services and facilities. It could also highlight green spaces and other features that would make a walking route more pleasant and enjoyable.
Figures from Age UK have shown that 9 per cent of older people in the UK (around 900,000) feel trapped in their own home, while around 6 per cent (nearly 600,000) leave their house once a week or less.