Institute for Health & Ageing

Research Themes

Active Living

Our research interests include projects aiming to investigate innovative and sustainable ways to optimise health and wellbeing through physical activity and exercise.


Active living refers to regular engagement in physical activity and has many benefits for older people. It can play an important role in reducing the risk of many chronic conditions and in the management of these conditions. Physical activity can help older people maintain their independence, it promotes social interactions and benefits cognitive function. Project objectives aim to generate high-level evidence to support the role of exercise in minimising the decline of physical functioning associated with ageing in our urban communities.

Our research in this area can be categorised under three general areas.
– The first investigates the effect of physical activity intervention programmes on the prevention and management of chronic conditions including various cancers and inflammation, and on the maintenance of muscle mass and prevention of falls and fracture risk.
– The second examines the influence of the built environment in which older people live on active living. As the built environment influences everyone’s behaviour, this area of research has large potential public health outcomes.
– The third studies sedentary behaviour and its effect on health outcomes.

Previous research includes projects investigating prescriptive exercise regimens that are directly applicable to adults with chronic conditions such as knee and hip arthritis and osteoporosis. We have the expertise to conduct and collaborate on projects that identify nutrients and exercise programs which minimise pain and delay the progress of age-related conditions. We also undertake work on developing physical activity measurement methods in various settings using a range of devices such as accelerometers, GPS monitors and inclinometers.