Move it or Lose it, which provides gentle and low-impact classes that help to minimise age-related musculoskeletal decline and disease and enables older people to manage long-term conditions, has been named in the inaugural Mills & Reeve Innovation 50. Listed in the health and education category, it comprises the Midlands’ most forward-thinking companies, all chosen by an expert panel of the region’s leading business movers and shakers.
It has also been shortlisted in the Entrepreneur for Good category of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2017, which recognises businesses and charities that are pioneering ideas to drive positive social change.
Birmingham-based Julie Robinson, who founded the business in 2010 with the aim of helping older people to improve flexibility, aerobic health, balance and strength, said: “We are over the moon to have been recognised for our efforts in keeping older people fit and healthy in a fun way.
“We now have more than 100,000 people enjoying our classes and they are having an incredible impact on lives. Not only are they improving their physical health, their mental wellbeing is also benefitting.
“We already have a great network of trainers across the country but we’d love to see more instructors join us so that we can continue to increase the classes we host. I’d love to see at least one Move it or Lose it class in every town.”
In addition to providing classes, Move it or Lose it works with the Centre for Healthy Ageing Research at the University of Birmingham to create evidence-based programmes that improve muscle strength.
It also works with the NHS, the Royal Voluntary Service, St Giles Hospice and Age UK and a number of studies it has undertaken have shown the benefits of the Move It Or Lose It classes. In one study, there was a 127% improvement in lower body strength and 100% improvement in mental wellbeing. Another showed that 96% reported an improved level of independence.
Since it was launched, it has grown to have a network of 100 trainers across the country, which delivers classes in community centres, GP surgeries and residential care homes. There is also a range of award-winning DVDs and exercise products that people can use at home.