A new Health Integration Team (HIT) looking at improving activity and health in later life has been approved by Bristol Health Partners. The team, known as the Active People: Promoting Healthy Life Expectancy (APPHLE) HIT, is hosted by Bristol City Council and led by Professor Selena Gray, Professor of Public Health, UWE Bristol, and Dr Afroditi Stathi, Senior Lecturer in Physical Activity, Ageing and Health, University of Bath.
Sedentary behaviour dramatically increases health risk in older people and disproportionately affects people with low socio-economic status, leading to health inequalities. Working with academics, commissioners, clinicians and lay representatives, the HIT will look at what data is already available to monitor physical activity levels and the current provisions for promoting physical activity for older people. They will assess whether current local interventions are effective, and look at wider academic evidence to support the efficacy of a range of interventions. Longer term, this evidence-based approach will lead to the development of a range of interventions to benefit older people's health and make the healthy choice easier.
Selena said: "We are very excited to have gained the status of a Health Integration Team. My colleagues on the team represent some of the best brains on older people's health that the area has to offer, and working together I believe we can have a real impact on quality of life for older people, as well as reducing the burden on the NHS of an ageing population."
Afroditi said: "The APPHLE HIT provides an excellent opportunity to develop pathways for knowledge exchange involving key multidisciplinary academic teams, policy makers, public and private health and leisure service delivery agencies and user groups. We will work towards ensuring scarce resources are invested in the interventions most likely to succeed and so increase activity amongst older adults, improving their health and reducing the burden on the NHS and social care services. "