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Time to get active and join the city’s activities

Published Tuesday, 21 September 2021

A Public Health England report has raised concerns about an increase in the risk of falls among older adults after over a year of lower levels of physical activity.

To help combat an increase in the risk of falls among older adults, #WhatsMyNextStep campaign partners are urging people to get more active by rejoining or signing up to new clubs, groups and activities.

The PHE report found that in the spring of 2020, there was a rise in older people being inactive. Inactivity rates were at 32% (up from 27% the year before). This 5% rise increases the risk of ‘deconditioning’ where older people lose strength and balance and are at significantly greater risk of falls. The report raised concerns about a likely increase in demand for falls services, a strain on hospitals due to emergency admissions and health and social care costs.

PHE, like the #WhatsMyNextStep partners, including York and Scarborough Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Vale of York CCG, Age UK, Live Well York, North Yorkshire Sport and City of York Council, advise that people who had lost muscle tone and stamina by being inactive should improve their strength and balance so that they can safely resume physical activity, social activities, accessing healthcare and work.

With many clubs, groups and gyms reopening, now is a great time to get more active with other people which many people find motivating and fun. There are many ideas to inspire more activity, including York Walking Festival running until 26 September or pick up a leaflet from Visit York Information Centre.

To help improve core strength and balance, Falls Awareness Week runs this week until 26 September 2021 with ideas to keep you steadier on your feet or, if you are concerned about falling at home, call 01904 552300 or email While the York 50+ Festival 2021 from 25 September to 3 October 2021, has heaps to inspire us all, so pick up a leaflet from a York library or St Sampson’s Centre. You can also find more inspiration and great ideas for Staying Physically Active in York.

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, at City of York Council, said:

With many clubs and groups reopening after lockdown, now is a great time to sign up to your favourites or try a new activity.

"Whatever your age or health, our bodies are made to move! So keeping active is one of the best things we can do to help us recover from the effects of the pandemic or covid, and to ensure our health in the longer-term. So, however you're feeling and whatever you're dealing with, do join in and build up your level of activity. There are experts available who can find the best activity for you.”

Alison Semmence, Chief Executive of York CVS, said:

For some people, and for many reasons, it's not so easy to just go along and join a club or group. Some people might need a bit of encouragement and support which can be provided through our Social Prescribing Service.

"This is a non-judgemental service to support individuals to make small changes that could make a big impact on their quality of life. Take a look at our website to find our more and to see if this could help you take the first step."

Please remember to:

  • follow any medical advice you’ve been given
  • do what you can and start slowly. It’s fine to push yourself a little, but don’t do anything that feels uncomfortable
  • stop if you feel any pain or are lightheaded, and rest and stay hydrated
  • have a little soreness after exercise is normal for the first day or two