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App aims to help area stay fitter and healthier

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By Fiona Reid
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App aims to help area stay fitter and healthier

A REVOLUTIONARY smartphone app is being launched in the region - aimed at helping people to stay fitter and healthier.

LifeCurve launched by Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership will help people better understand their own health and fitness, and provide advice on how to stay fitter and healthier for longer at every age.

Explaining more, Lynne Mann, from Community Health and Social Care, said: “The app is based on cutting-edge research by UK scientists into ageing and is being employed as part of the Still Going research project.

“We’re very proud that Dumfries and Galloway is one of the first regions in the country to be a part of this research project which will see learning shared with the team at the University of Strathclyde.

“If people try out the app they will find that it may offer them a better understanding of their current levels of health and fitness, that it provides suggestions to slow or even reverse any decline, and a means to map their progress.”

LifeCurve emerged from work carried out by Professor Peter Gore, pictured, and his team at Newcastle University, who concluded that the decline in people’s health and wellbeing can be plotted on a progressive curve.

This ‘LifeCurve’ supports people to assess their current level of fitness and ability, anticipate changes, and take action to help slow or even reverse possible declines.

The team found that people tend to lose the ability to do various everyday activities in a set order. Firstly, they stop being able to walk briskly, get up from the floor, or cut their own toenails. Later on, they tend to lose the ability to cook a hot meal, perform light housework and get up from a chair unaided.

They mapped these events on to a typical lifespan, producing the LifeCurve. Someone who follows the typical curve is progressing at an average rate, while someone sitting above the curve is still able to do things that most people their age can no longer manage.

Speaking at an event locally in 2019, the professor said: “Everyone has the ability to improve their position on the curve and it does not take much to do it. Small, simple increases in daily activity levels can make a huge difference – keeping people fit, active, healthy and happy for much longer.”

The free app was developed by Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing and software company ADL Smart Care.

Dumfries and Galloway’s director of public health Valerie White said: “It’s really amazing how much of a difference a few small changes to your lifestyle can make – it can mean many more years of active and independent life.

“The LifeCurve app is a simple tool to help everyone make those changes, and we believe that using it could make a huge improvement to the lives of people of every age.”

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