Vital

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We want to better understand the ageing process and offer people opportunities to grow old with vitality and in good health.

By better understanding the ageing process, we want to offer people opportunities to grow old with vitality and in good health. Central to this is what seniors themselves find most important. Leyden Academy wants to encourage people to lead healthier and active lifestyles by making minor adjustments to their daily environment. Rather than ‘do’s and don’ts’, incentives to one’s physical and social environment can stimulate healthier choices. We also help older individuals to coach one another.

Influence of environment to one’s health
Our body is ill-adapted to the environment in which we live today. We are constantly exposed to temptations to overeat and to avoid exercise. The environment in which we live, learn, work, shop and spend our freetime should actually make it easier and more obvious for us to make healthier choices. Heathier choices can also reduce the daily medication that a large percentage of the Dutch population takes to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, lack of sleep, acid indigestion, joint aches, osteoporosis, and diabetes. These are diseases normally associated with ‘ageing illnesses’ but are increasingly a result of life style choices.

Peer coaching
Peer coaching is a form of self-organisation where people help one another to reach a common goal. Successful examples of peer coaching are Alchoholics Anonymous and Weightwatchers, where millions of people worldwide have achieved healthy goals. Leyden Academy researches whether peer coaching initiatives can stimulate daily exercise amongst the elderly.

Understanding the ageing process
In order to age with good health, it is important to better understand the ageing process. Leyden Academy is undertaking fundamental research about the ageing process itself. We investigate the early influences in the development of the ageing process and study ageing from an international perspective, where for example, the elderly in rural Ghana will be compared to elderly in various western countries.

For more information, contact David van Bodegom.