Average age in the UK population is continually increasing. Although we are living longer, many older individuals spend a large proportion of their later years in poor health and quality of life, which becomes more apparent in the poorest sectors of our society and minority ethnic communities. Physical activity is essential for healthy ageing, but evidence to support the health benefits of physical activity in socially deprived and ethnic minority groups, and the factors that prevent these communities from participating in physical activity, has been relatively overlooked. As a result, our capacity to develop effective and attainable physical activity interventions with the potential to extend healthy life expectancy in communities who experience health inequalities is limited.
The ATTAIN network will bring together researchers; academics from health, psycho-social, environmental sciences and beyond, with relevant healthcare professionals; policy makers; and voluntary sector organisations. Those who experience of health inequality will be at the heart of our network as leaders, partners and advisors. Across two themes; i) Holistic health benefits of physical activity and ii) Barriers to physical activity, we aim to link across disciplines to develop research that can impact on the lives of those who experience healthy inequalities and improve policy around healthspan and quality of life in old age. To achieve this aim, the ATTAIN Network will operate with a national and international reach and undertake specific activities including, Workshop and Knowledge Exchange Events, Engagement Fellowships, Interdisciplinary Sandpits, Small Grant Funding, Writing Retreats and a community-focused closing Event. External Advisory/Stakeholder Groups will provide steer to the ATTAIn Network objectives are realised.