This site is intended for health professionals only
Saturday 1 August 2015 Instagram
Share |

Free bus pass encourage exercise in over 60s

Free bus pass encourage exercise in over 60s

Free bus pass encourage exercise in over 60s

Free bus passes may encourage the over 60s to be more physically active, it is claimed.

Researchers found people with a bus pass are “more likely” to walk “frequently”.

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health analysed four years of data – from 2005, the year before free bus passes were implemented, until 2008 – for a total of 16,911 people in the UK National Travel Survey.

It is claimed that physical exercise helps to maintain mental wellbeing, mobility and muscle strength in older people and reduces their risk of cardiovascular disease, falls and fractures.

The researchers from Imperial College London cited previous research, which found 15 minutes of moderate daily exercise is associated with a 12% lower risk of death in people over 60.

It is said public health organisations “increasingly believe” that "incidental" exercise, such as walking to and from bus stops, may have a key role to play in helping people keep fit.

Despite the study’s findings, pressures on public spending has led to proposals for the free bus pass in over 60s scheme, which costs £1.1bn a year, to be scrapped, or become means-tested.

Authors of the study have urged for the possible benefits for public health to be taken into consideration when debating the scheme’s survival.

"Given the need to encourage older people to be physically active, it's good news that the provision of free bus passes seems to be having a positive impact," said Sophie Coronini-Cronberg, from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, who led the study.

"Before the government looks at reforming the scheme, they should make sure we understand its value to society. We would welcome more research in this area, such as a detailed cost analysis to establish whether the scheme represents good value for money."

Ads by Google

You are leaving

You are currently leaving the Nursing in Practice site. Are you sure you want to proceed?


Respect for nurses: Sign up to our e-petition TODAY

The Nursing in Practice Respect campaign is now live! Over the coming months, we're set to highlight the vital contribution and efforts of primary care and community care nurses throughout the UK.

As part of our campaign, Nursing in Practice is looking to call on parliament to set up a debate to celebrate the vital work that you do.



Calling all primary care nurses! 'Like' our Nursing in Practice Facebook page to enter our free draw to win a £25 M&S voucher


Nursing in Practice are conducting a survey to find out more about the conversations between parents and healthcare professionals on nutrition in children under 5 years of age.

Take the survey

By taking the survey, you will also have the opportunity to enter into a prize draw for the chance to win one of five M&S vouchers worth £25.

This survey is exclusively for health care professionals and not the general public.