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Coronavirus: Helping older people stay active at home

Posted onPosted on 3rd Apr

To help older people stay active at home during the coronavirus, Sport England, Demos and Anchor Hanover have teamed up with BBC Sport to offer easy to follow, 10-minute daily home audio exercise routines every day ‘on demand’ through BBC Sounds (the BBC’s podcast platform), and broadcast live on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.

There are 7.4m people aged 70+ in England. With people mostly confined to their own home following the latest government advice, and the challenge of loneliness while self-isolating, there has never been a more important and relevant time to encourage and inspire older people to remain active and boost their mood, mobility and wellbeing, while at home.

10 Today is a set of 10, 10-minute, audio workouts designed to get older people stretching and moving at home. Each involves engaging and easy to follow routines that are accessible and safe, can be done at any time, whether standing up or sitting down, and are adaptable to different fitness levels. It is inspired by Japan’s Radio Taiso – which broadcasts popular national daily exercise programmes on Japanese radio.

A podcast boxset of the 10 Today workout series for older people is available for free on demand on BBC Sounds, the BBC’s podcast platform, and broadcast every day for the next two weeks on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra in place of the channel’s usual live sport commentary.

This follows the launch of ‘Join the Movement’ the new national campaign launched by Sport England and backed by government to encourage and inspire people to be active at home – or #StayInWorkOut.

10 Today was funded by Sport England with funds raised by National Lottery players and developed by the Think tank Demos, in partnership with Anchor Hanover, whose resident Terry Keen, aged 73 – himself a qualified fitness instructor – created and fronts the series. Over 1,750 older people took part in the 10 Today pilot, which launched in May 2019, reporting a range of benefits including improved mood and sleep patterns, better balance, fewer aches, pains, and improved joint problems.

Commenting, Terry Keen said: “During self-isolation, I’m embracing the chance to stay active. As an older person myself I know that it’s so important to keep moving, with the mobility and strength to take part in things, as opposed to just looking on. I hope we can inspire others to move more and simply feel better during this time!”

Tim Hollingsworth, chief executive, Sport England, “As we all commit to stay home, save lives and protect the NHS – being active, and the mental and physical boost it can bring has never been more important. This is especially true for older people, many who will also be managing the loneliness of being separated from children and grandchildren at this time.

“10 Today is a convenient, accessible and fun way for older people to move and stretch while at home, in bite size chunk of activity suitable for all fitness levels. We are really pleased to be working with the BBC to bring this brilliant content to the nation’s older people as part of our #StayInWorkOut campaign. Our hope is that it will give many thousands of people a fun 10-minute boost in their day – at what we know is a difficult time.”

10 Today is now available on demand through BBC Sounds here:

A new episode of 10 Today will be broadcast on a rolling basis on BBC Radio 5 Live Extra each weekday between 5am and 10am.

For more on the campaign visit