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Healthy Ageing: Concepts, Interventions, and Preparing for the Future

The World Health Organisation's Decade of Healthy Ageing is underway. Discover how we can enjoy prolonged years of good health.

2,563 enrolled on this course

Healthy Ageing: Concepts, Interventions, and Preparing for the Future

2,563 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Open level

Find out more about how to join this course

Discover how to enable healthy ageing as life expectancy increases

Life expectancy is increasing. In the UK, the average person now lives to the age of 81, up from 77 in 2000.

This increase in lifespan has not been matched, however, with an increase in ‘healthspan’ – years of healthy, independent life. Many older adults suffer from increased frailty, and other common health problems.

This healthcare course from the University of Birmingham addresses current challenges and opportunities related to healthy ageing.

Discover tools and methodologies for healthy ageing

On this course, you will learn how to assess frailty, and explore measures to slow its onset. We will also look at current physical activity guidelines and debunk myths and correct misunderstandings about nutrition in older age.

You will discover different research methodologies applied to improving healthspan.

The course will enable you to apply what you learn about healthy ageing to real-life scenarios and your own research.

Explore the latest research into healthy ageing

This healthy ageing course is evidence-based, drawing on the latest research. The University of Birmingham is a leader in this field. It has also been built in consultation with older adults, to listen to their concerns and lived experiences. Ageing will be considered in the context of health inequality.

This course lines up with the UK Government’s Ageing Society Grand Challenge, which is “for people to enjoy five more years of healthy, independent living by 2035”. It also coincides with the WHO’s Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030).

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Skip to 0 minutes and 2 seconds The world’s population of older people is growing. The number of adults aged over 60 is expected to reach 2.1 billion by 2050. However, while lifespan is increasing, the number of years one can expect to spend in good health is not keeping pace. It’s therefore, time for action. The University of Birmingham’s Healthy Ageing MOOC will help anyone who wants to make a difference to older people’s lives, understand the consequences of ageing and how to intervene in order to maintain good health.

Skip to 0 minutes and 33 seconds Open to anyone from family members, carers, nurses, practitioners, researchers, policy makers to older adults, our free online course will help you understand how lifestyle behaviours can promote health and physical independence in ageing populations, and what is being done to prepare us all for a healthy, more independent future. Over 3 weeks, you will learn the meaning of healthy ageing. The course will present current knowledge of physical activity and nutrition research in diverse groups of older adults across different settings. The sessions will examine ageing and frailty demographics through a global lens, age-related health inequalities, and government policies. You will also be introduced to different research methods, tools and technologies that help ageing people live longer, healthier lives.

Skip to 1 minute and 23 seconds Delivered by internationally recognised experts in the field and designed in collaboration with older adults, our course will positively impact your knowledge, behaviours and practices. Sign up now.

What topics will you cover?

  • Ageing/ frailty demographics WHO/ government targets.
  • Age related health inequalities.
  • Interventions to combat frailty.
  • Physical activity/ nutrition research.
  • Research methods/ tools and techniques.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Gain new knowledge based on the current evidence in terms of healthy ageing, causes of physical frailty, functional consequences, and interventions to ameliorate those consequences and maintain/ improve physical independence and healthspan.
  • Assess frailty across a number of settings, including in LMICs, using different techniques and methodologies.
  • Learn about different research methodologies applied to improve healthspan through maintenance of physical independence and amelioration of frailty.
  • Apply knowledge gained to personal research as well as reinforcing the evidence-base applied to current practice.
  • Gain understanding of global applications and insights.
  • Gain insights into older persons’ perspectives and priorities through their own voices, by consulting with them on course structure and content, and via co-created research.

Who is the course for?

This healthy ageing course is aimed at a broad audience, including, but not limited to:

  • Sports/biomedical/health scientists and students.
  • Medical and healthcare professionals and students.
  • Older adults who want to learn more about healthy ageing.

Who will you learn with?

Carolyn Greig PhD FTPS is Professor of Musculoskeletal Ageing and Health at the University of Birmingham. Her research aims to counteract age related loss of muscle mass and function in older adults.

Janice L Thompson, PhD, FACSM, FECSS, is Professor of Public Health Nutrition and Exercise at the University of Birmingham, based in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences.

Who developed the course?

University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is a public research university, consistently listed as a leading UK university and ranked among the top 100 in the world.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 15 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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