Staying physically active can play a big part in ageing well – and a well-designed neighbourhood helps with that. Maylat/shutterstock
Where we live can play a big part in ageing well, largely because of the links between physical activity and wellbeing. Research shows that two-thirds of Australians prefer to age in place. That is, we want to live independently in our homes for as long as we can. Our neighbourhoods and their design can then improve or hinder our ability to get out of the house and be physically active.
The rapid ageing of Australia’s population only adds to the importance of neighbourhood design. In 2016, 15% of Australians were aged 65 or older. That proportion is projected to double by 2056.
These trends present several social and economic challenges, particularly for the health sector. Designing neighbourhoods in ways that promote physical activity can help overcome these challenges.