ASG Enhancing health from a life-span perspective

(ASG 2020-2021)

The population in Sweden is ageing, and the share of those that are 80 years old and above is expected to increase with 300 000 persons by 2030. Hence, occurrence of accidents and diseases that affect older people will increase, causing great challenges to the society.

The goal of the E-Hance ASG is to address the societal challenge of enhancing health from a life-span perspective, focusing on promoting physical activity and participation in society in old age as well as the prevention of falls at home and in public spaces (single accidents).

Decline in physical activity follows with old age, most often resulting in negative consequences such as declined walking ability, increased risk of falling, sleep deprivation, loss of appetite, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and increased risk of dementia

Therefore, being active along the life span, including preserving the habits of walking and cycling in old age is an effective and social-economically motivated measure to counter health deterioration associated with aging as well as to enhance participation in the society.  

Also, to be physically active, doing things outside the own home is most often necessary thus posing demands on the accessibility and usability of the outdoor environment. From traffic safety perspective, single accidents (falls while walking or cycling in public space) contribute to the absolute majority of the serious injuries among pedestrians and cyclists. Again, older people, particularly women, are highly over-represented among the single accident victims.

There is ongoing research on different technical solutions in order to support older people in regaining, keeping and increasing their health. However, there is less research regarding the outcome and effectiveness of these technologies and even less so in implementation and intervention studies.

With a salutogenic mindset, the priority should be in supporting older people’s perceptions of self-efficiency, both with regards to maintaining the physical and mental well-being and in the use of technical devices developed to support this process.

The E-Hance ASG will gather knowledge from different research-fields, technical companies, gaming companies, stakeholders such as community health care as well as primary health care. Thus, enhancing health from a life-span perspective will be elucidated from a variety of different angels.

Thus, the project targets the UN Sustainable Development Goals #3, which is to “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” and goal 11.2 “By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons”. The goal #11“Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” will also be targeted.