Life Science Matters: What Is Healthy Ageing?

Today I had the pleasure of attending an event held by the Life Sciences Hub, in Cardiff, which was on the question of 'What is Healthy Ageing?'. The day involved a range of interesting and engaging speakers, who discussed, through the lens of their professional disciplines, the impact of their field on healthy ageing.

The first speaker was Doctor of psychology, from Swansea University- Dr Joanne Hudson, who talked about physical activity in older adults and whether/ how it might impact on quality of life (QOL). What struck me about Dr Hudson's presentation was that it wasn't just that studies have shown that physical activity can often positively impact mental wellbeing of older individuals. With specificity, physical activity could also help promote self-efficacy and confidence amongst participants through exercises such as strength, flexibility and balance.

We then heard about some interesting technological interventions in the pipeline from electronics company Philips. Such as the spoon that is able to counter-balance when somebody with a tremor is holding it, enabling them more control over their own feeding. Food was a theme that was particularly poignant within the event, with a great talk from scientific nutritionist Ayela Spiro from the British Nutrition Foundation. Who noted that 85% of deaths in the UK are caused by age related diseases, and whilst trends suggest the population is living longer. In Wales we have the most people over the age of 90.

The reason that nutrition was such a defining or perhaps underpinning element of healthy ageing, is partially because of the theory that age related disease can be an accumulation of damage from modifiable habits such as poor diet, a lack of physical activity and excessive alcohol intake. There is an awareness that inflammation, oxidation and metabolic stress can lead to disease states, and that dietary patterns that promote anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants such fruit, vegetables and plant bases such as the Mediterranean diet could be beneficial. Today was another great event held by the Life Sciences hub, and there was a buzz around the room from the many passionate professionals who shared the ambition to make ageing Wales a health centred process.


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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