ICAA mobilizes support for Stanford Center on Longevity’s 2014-2015 Design Challenge

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Goal for participants is improving personal mobility across life span

Colin Milner, CEO, International Council on Active Aging

Colin Milner, CEO, International Council on Active Aging

Design Challenge is a global competition aimed at encouraging students to create products and services that improve the lives of older adults

The International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) is pleased to announce its marketing sponsorship of the Stanford Center on Longevity (SCL) in its 2014-2015 Design Challenge.

Design Challenge is a global competition aimed at encouraging students to create products and services that improve the lives of older adults. This year’s theme – Enabling Personal Mobility Across the Life Span – focuses on ways to motivate or otherwise empower older adults to achieve everyday mobility in their homes and communities by:

  • Reducing sedentary lifestyles;
  • Encouraging and enabling physical movement and exercise;
  • Reducing barriers and increasing facilitators to mobility in the home and community.

The goal is to design solutions that not only maximize an individual’s mobility, but also are used regularly to achieve real benefits.

“As we get older, maintaining the mobility to function becomes an increasingly important endeavor,” says Colin Milner, ICAA’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “Mobility is crucial to independence, and anyone who can improve mobility capabilities and options for older adults is making a valuable contribution. That’s why we feel so passionate about our collaboration with the Stanford Center on Longevity.”

SCL says physical activity is one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle at all ages, especially for those over 50. And yet only 48% of adults meet aerobic activity guidelines, while a mere 24% of adults meet resistance exercise guidelines – despite well-established links between exercise and prevention of diseases both physical and mental.

It also says nearly 50% of people starting on a new exercise program give up within the first month, while another 25% stop within 3 months. And while 79% of Americans believe they should walk more, 40% say they don’t because their neighborhoods lack nearby services, shops, schools, and workplaces.

SCL hopes to receive submissions for its 2014-2015 competition that are both intuitive and integrated into individuals’ daily routines – because remembering to do a task or knowing when or how to use a particular tool could be problematic for many older adults.

Last year’s Design Challenge theme was Maximizing Independence for those with Cognitive Impairment. First prize winner of $10,000 was Sha Yao of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco for her project Eat Well, which proposed new tableware designs for Alzheimer’s patients.

Second prize is $5000, third prize is $2000.

This is the first time ICAA has been a sponsor of the event.

For more information, visit http://www.icaa.cc, or http://longevity3.stanford.edu/designchallenge2015/.

About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)

ICAA, a professional association that leads, connects and defines the active--aging industry, supports professionals who develop wellness facilities, programs and services for adults over 50. The association is focused on active aging – an approach to aging that helps older adults live life as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness – and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools.

As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies, including the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada’s Special Senate Committee on Aging, and the British Columbia ministries of Health and Healthy Living and Sport.

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