Disabled woman playing tennis

Research Report: Me, Not My Age or Impairment – Get Out Get Active Thanet


Why are women with a health condition or disability missing out on the benefits that sport and physical activity brings as they get older?

This report uses qualitative research to better understand women with a disability or life limiting health condition and their relationship with sport and physical activity in later life.

The experiences of inactive and active women aged over 55, their motivations and influencers, as well as perceived barriers are explored. This report includes practical recommendations for sports deliverers wanting to engage women of this age group more effectively in sport or physical activities.

Get Out Get Active (GOGA), funded by Spirit of 2012, supports disabled and non‑disabled people to take part in fun and inclusive activities together. For this research we collaborated with GOGA Thanet.

Key findings

  • Women participating have strong social networks, are fiercely independent and want to have control over their own lives. The enablers or influencers to participation are generally friends or neighbours.
  • For the inactive women, being sociable is not part of their norm. They have few influencers encouraging and supporting them to be active.
  • The experience of getting older or a health condition can trigger participation.
  • Many women do not identify with being an older woman or disabled
  • Frequently, inactive women expressed a desire to do more but felt limited by their physical capabilities.


There are some days when I just want to stay in bed, lock the door, turn the lights out and not have to deal with it.
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Download the report