On Thursday January 14th, EuropeActive hosted the kick-off meeting of the Active Ageing communities project online. The EU funded action aims to create active communities through addressing the mental, social, and socio-economic barriers of engaging with physical activity for older people to combat inactivity and social isolation. 
Healthy and active ageing has, with the growth in life expectancy and the increasing proportion of the EU population over the age of 65, become of increased societal importance. However, despite more people living longer, quality of life has not correspondingly improved, with the proportion of life spent in poor health remaining constant. One of the factors contributing to this evolution is that currently, a large part of the older European citizens are inactive, with their activity levels far below the recently updated WHO physical activity guidelines. A key way to improve quality of life is through increasing physical activity, which improves social, mental and physical wellbeing. That’s why the Active Ageing community project is so important.  
The project aims to tackle this inactivity and social isolation problem in older adults by creating active communities which address the different barriers to physical activity for older adults, and establishing a community-based programme that highlights the social and health relevance of fitness and physical activity.  
During the kick-off meeting, the partners talked about the policy framework in which this project is taking place. Andreas Paulsen explained to the participants how the Active Ageing Community project fits perfectly with EuropeActive’s strategy and Sectoral Manifesto. European Commission representative, Kairis Ulp, gave the participants an update on the recent work the European Commission has done on the potential of sport and physical activity for fostering intergenerational relationships. Subsequently, Sarah Morgan, representing EuropeActive, expanded on the latest facts and figures on active ageing. Professor Paolo Caserotti and Mathias Skjødt, from the University of Southern Denmark, went into more detail about the exercise programme and the research activities in the area of active ageing. Finally, the partners discussed the key deliverables, timing and administrative aspects of the project.  
You can find more information about the project here.
Jan 14, 2021 By Ioana Marica