Exploring Active Aging: A Conversation with Professor Romana Klačtářeska
The field of aging research is gaining prominence as the global population experiences a gradual shift toward an older demographic. In a recent interview on the YouTube channel of the LIFE Research Institute, Professor Romana Klačtářeska, an assistant professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences at Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic, shared insights into the importance of studying aging and discussed her research on the topic.
The Significance of Studying Aging
Professor Klačtářeska began by emphasizing the global aging phenomenon, pointing out that in 2021, individuals over 60 comprised 10% of the world's population, totaling 1 billion. Projections indicate that by 2050, this percentage will nearly double to almost 22%, representing 2 billion people. In her home country, the Czech Republic, the aging trend is even more pronounced, with expectations that one-third of the population will be older adults by 2050.
According to Professor Klačtářeska, understanding aging is crucial as it is an interdisciplinary topic with far-reaching societal implications. By comprehending the needs of the aging population, societies can better respond to and address the diverse requirements of this demographic group.
What is “Active Aging?”
Active aging is a term introduced by the World Health Association in 2002. Professor Klačtářeska clarified that "active" in this context extends beyond physical activity and encompasses continuous participation in social, economic, cultural, spiritual, and civic events. Notably, she mentions that "active aging" has been replaced by "healthy aging" since 2021 to now be more inclusive to older populations as they age who may not be physically able to be “active” in the same manner the word had previously been used to describe.
Current Research on Active Aging and COVID-19
Professor Klačtářeska provided insights into her ongoing international research in collaboration with Spain and the Slovak Republic University. The study explores how older adults experience active aging and assesses the impact of COVID-19 measures on their daily routines, including physical activity, nutrition, mental health, and overall quality of life. The research is designed as a comparative study between countries, hoping to uncover valuable insights into the older adult population's experiences during the pandemic.
Professor Romana Klačtářeska's work highlights the importance of understanding aging, particularly within the framework of active aging, and underscores the need for ongoing research to address the evolving needs of the aging global population. If you are as inspired as we are by this conversation, watch the full video on the LIFE Research Institute’s YouTube Channel.