Coming together to find policy solutions to muscle ageing

May 3, 2023

MyAge was delighted to host a workshop on how to deliver policy insight, at the Exchange in Birmingham in January. The event was attended by academics from seven different Universities, five Ageing Networks, the charity Sense About Science and The Physiological Society. It also had representation from the network’s highly valued public contributors. 

The event speakers included:

Professor Robin Miller, Director of Global Engagement for the College Social Sciences and National Demonstrators Lead, IMPACT (Improving Adult Care Together) at the University of Birmingham.

These speakers brought practical, real-life experience to explaining:     

  • Who we mean by ‘policymakers’?  
  • What are they looking for?  
  • How can we develop an offering for them?  
  • What are the pitfalls of engaging with policymakers?  

Group discussion among UK Ageing Network members at the MyAge Policy workshop

 These talks were followed by a workshop to consult and help form a MyAge policy document which will be launched to MPs at the House of Commons Sense about Science event during Evidence Week in July. 

Dr Mathew Piasecki, Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham and MyAge Policy co-lead explained:   

In the UK, approximately 470,000 people of working age suffer from musculoskeletal symptoms, many of which are preventable.”  

Muscle loss is also the single largest reason for losing independence in later life, with up to 50% of muscle mass being lost by the eighth decade. This makes it harder to carry out day-to-day activities, and increases the risk of falls and fractures, as well as conditions like heart disease, diabetes and dementia 

Dr Piasecki speaking at the MyAge Policy Workshop

Dr Piasecki continued: “Knowing how to engage policymakers in these big issues can be a challenge for scientists but it’s so important in helping to achieve the well-considered, evidenced based outcomes we all want to see in government policy and action.

  “This workshop successfully brought policy experts and scientists together to improve our skills in packaging research insights into advice that will be useful to policymakers when trying to address the multitude of challenges and opportunities this research field presents.   

“We’d like to give massive thanks to everyone who shared their knowledge and experience to create such a useful event. We very much hope that everyone will continue to support this work as we develop it over the next few months and years.”

 The MyAge Policy workshop took place at The Exchange, Birmingham on Tuesday 24 January 2023.