Greenspaces for the over 60's

​It is very important for those over 60 to get outside and remain active. The NHS suggests that if you’re over 65 you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as cycling or walking, every week.

Despite these recommendations(1), many adults aged 65 and over spend around 10 hours each day sitting or lying down(2), making the over 65’s the most sedentary age group.

Benefits of exercise for over 60’s

Being active can lower the risk of illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression and dementia(3). Regular exercise can also improve mood, and lower chances of injury, boost immune function, improve heart and respiratory function, bone density and gastrointestinal function(4). The benefits of exercise are endless, making it one of the best treatments available for a wide range of ailments.

Benefits of nature

Getting outside and enjoying being in nature can lower blood pressure, stress and mental fatigue(7), and have restorative effects(8). Being in nature can also increase levels of natural anti-cancer fighting cells(9), decrease worry, confusion, and tiredness and improve attention and concentration(10). Spending a lot of time indoors, such as in a care home, can put you at risk of vitamin D deficiency(5), but getting outside regularly can quickly boost vitamin D(6).

So, what more reason do you need to look for greenspaces near you, and started reaping the benefits of getting outside?

How can greenspaces help you get outside?

The Greenspace map, available through your web browser or on your smartphone or tablet differentiates between different greenspaces, meaning you can choose locations where you may be able to interact with people and socialise. You can also search for new places to walk your dog, where you could meet other dog walkers.

Greenspaces can allow you to look for public parks and gardens, for an enjoyable stroll or dog walk. You can also look for golf courses if you are into golf – this will also help boost vitamin D from being outside, and is a good way to hit the recommended daily steps goal.

Bowling greens are also highlighted on the greenspace layer, so you could find one within walking or driving distance to go to. You may also be able to meet other likeminded people there, if you wanted to do some socialising.

Greenspaces can also show you your nearest allotment, if gardening and growing things is what you like to do. Again, you can look for allotments within a distance that suits your needs.

With the ability to locate public parks and gardens, golf courses, bowling greens, allotments and much more using the greenspace layer – you’ll never be inside!

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OS Maps web


References

  1. NHS: Physical activity guidelines for older adults: nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/physical-...
  2. NHS: Why we should sit less: nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/sitting-a...
  3. NHS: Benefits of exercise: nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/whybeacti...
  4. Aging Care: Exercise for the Elderly: agingcare.com/articles/exercise-benefi...
  5. NHS: How to get vitamin D from sunlight: nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/vita...
  6. NHS: How to get vitamin D from sunlight: nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/vita...
  7. Huffington Post: Outdoor Exercise: Health Benefits Of Working Out Outside: huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/23/outdoor-e...
    Science Alert: Just Looking at Photos of Nature Could Be Enough to Lower Your Work Stress Levels: sciencealert.com/just-looking-at-photo...
    Science Direct: Exposure to restorative environments helps restore attentional capacity: sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S...
  8. Business Insider UK: 11 scientific reasons you should be spending more time outside: uk.businessinsider.com/scientific-benefits-...
  9. US National Library of Medicine: Forest bathing enhances human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17903349
  10. Business Insider UK: 11 scientific reasons you should be spending more time outside: uk.businessinsider.com/scientific-benefits-...

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