UNIVERSITY OF VIGO – CITY OF SANXENXO – Partnership to promote healthy lifestyles

September 10th of 2019

Currently, approximately 60% of older adults do not exercise regularly, in fact 30% of elderly people is totally sedentary. The level of physical activity decreases with age, being especially significant after 65 years. The benefits that physical exercise brings to this group have been proven in an extensive and categorical way through different research projects. The City of Sanxenxo (Pontevedra), aware of the benefits that sports practice causes in people over 65, has implemented physical and cognitive programs for an active aging of the elderly for more than 15 years, also offering other activities to these groups to improve their quality of life and also their socialization. The physical exercise programs are intended for people 65 years of age or older and are practiced in the swimming pool and in the local municipal pavilion, being developed by trainers’ experts in physical exercise.
The municipality has a cooperation agreement with the University of Vigo for almost 20 years, being the first years of physical activity practices orientated by the Faculty of Education and Sports Sciences through the HealthyFit research group. The intervention programs based on physical exercise that are implemented in the municipal services of the municipality have been tested to verify their effects on the health of the participants. That is why, people over 65 have been valued by the research group of the University of Vigo, in those parameters that are more altered with age such as strength, balance, aerobic endurance and flexibility. These measurements have been made through physical field tests and through measuring instruments.
By betting on the health of the elderly through these good practices, Sanxenxo is included in the European Project "In Common Sports" - a project that aims to promote physical exercise in the elderly, through the competition. Different cities in Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria and Spain participate in the program, developing in each of them exercise programs and competitions, recruiting until now more than 400 senior citizens who are undergoing in a periodic monitoring.