National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University and TSMC Charity Foundation jointly create innovative seniors’ fitness clubs based on smart technology

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The provision of health care services to older adults is a key service of population health care strategy in an ageing society. To create a new milestone in Hsinchu City’s senior health care, encourage physical activities among older adults, prevent disability, and delay aging, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU) was commissioned by Health Promotion Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare to carry out its Seniors’ Fitness Club Program. Specifically, two community-based seniors’ fitness clubs were established on NYCU Boai Campus and Guangfu Campus, respectively.

Seniors’ fitness clubs were established based on the philosophy of health and longevity promoted by Chairperson Sophie Chang of TSMC Charity Foundation, who assisted with venue construction and introduction of TSMC Charity Foundation’s volunteer service. In addition, TSMC Charity Foundation worked with Superintendent and Professor Liang-Kung Chen of Taipei Municipal Gan-Dau Hospital, as well as co-principal investigators Chair and Professor Heng-Hsin Tung of NYCU Department of Nursing, Professor Yea-Ru Yang of NYCU Department of Physical Therapy and Assistive Technology, and Associate Chair and Professor Wen-Liang Chen of NYCU Department of Biological Science & Technology. On the basis of a cross-campus and interprofessional model, the health of older adults was promoted and the Student Activity Center on Boai Campus and Administration Building on Guangfu Campus were renovated.

The clubs opened officially on October 14, 2022. The clubs feature systems based on the world-renowned Smart Mobility Architecture and fitness equipment suitable for aging muscles to strengthen the upper and lower limbs, core muscles, and cardiopulmonary functions, thereby delaying aging, preventing disability, and establishing a smart technology-based exercise model for older adults. Smart fitness training equipment and training platforms that feature high precision and AI evaluation functions can provide personalized evaluation and training prescriptions for older adults, targeting muscle strength, muscular endurance, aerobics, stretching, and balance training. Older adults only have to swipe their cards through the equipment to log in and enable the plan-do-check-act model. The connection between exercise and health can be presented digitally based on physical fitness assessment and accurate body mass analysis and testing.

In addition, the guidance of professional fitness coaches can be incorporated to provide diverse, precise, and personalized exercise prescriptions. In addition to fitness training, the clubs provide health-related professional academic resources and diverse, professional health services through students’ community service learning, cultivation of seed fitness trainers, volunteer coaching and training, and provision of intergenerational services (by accompanying community older adults).

To implement Sustainable Development Goal 3—ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages—promoted by the United Nations, NYCU blurred the boundaries between campus and community by integrating humanities, health, local technology industries, and neighborhoods. By doing so, NYCU can realize aging in place, strengthen positive neighborhood relationships, and increase user stickiness and community resilience. In addition to the opening of seniors’ fitness clubs, senior health promotion stations have been established by the same team in Lushui Village under the support of the Public Health Bureau of Hsinchu City. Senior health promotion stations provide integrated health promotion activities for older adults such as fitness, practical health, life coaching, and information education courses, thereby adding value to the health services of seniors’ fitness clubs. Senior health promotion stations have been embedded into the community to become great community partners. Resources of the industry, government, academia, research institute, and society have been combined to achieve sustainability of health and LOHAS among older adults.