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Lund Population Day 2020

Healthy Ageing: Keynote abstract

Lund Population Day 2020 will take place on September 24. It will be possible to attend either in person (Segerfalksalen, BMC, Lund) or online.

Keynote lecture

Why study active ageing and how? Professor Taina Rantanen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland


Active ageing is one of the most widely used terms of positive gerontology, but there are varied ideas of what it may mean. To develop a more valid evidence base for active ageing interventions and policies, we need to know what active ageing entails in the lives of individual people, what its dynamics and predictors are as well as if and how it promotes wellbeing. Activity refers to ‘things being done’ embracing all essential fields of human functioning. I approach active ageing from ecological framework. I study the associations of activity and indicators of wellbeing from the perspective of social and environmental support and intrinsic capacity of the individual. Our recent studies show that external support and adaptive coping strategies help compensate for low intrinsic capacity when striving for specific aspects of activity. Flexibility and tenacity correlate with higher participation in recreational activities and higher level of outdoor mobility when facing disability. Adaptive physical coping strategies reducing task demand (e.g. slower pace) help maintain more favorable trajectories of out of home activity compared to maladaptive strategies (e.g. giving up). Turning to physical environment, higher habitat diversity, the presence of a lakeside, a park, green area or recreational facilities close to home correlate with higher physical activity and reduced likelihood of incident mobility limitations among older people. Finally, social environment, e.g. higher socio-economic position and social support help compensate for the negative effect of mobility limitations on maintaining a desired level of physical activity.

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Healthy Ageing