GPs have an important role to play in helping older people throughout Westmeath to get more physical activity, according to health experts.
A seminar organised by the Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH ) presented research examining how older people can increase their levels of physical activity.
Just 26 percent of older people across the country report taking part in healthy levels of weekly physical activity.
Guidelines recommend that those aged 65 and over should aim to get 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity weekly to achieve benefits for every aspect of health.
Dr. Andrew Boyd, activity champion from the Royal College of General Practitioners, told those gathered that Ireland must focus on getting older people active as our population ages. In that regard, he noted that GPs have an important role to play in supporting all patients to optimise their physical activity, GPs and other health professionals in Westmeath can be roles models for active and healthy lives and can empower older people to recognise the benefits of being more active and take control of their own health and lifestyle.
Over 977,000 people are currently aged 65 or over across the island. This will increase to over 2 million people by 2051.