We should recruit doctors to encourage their patients.
I can feel my hippocampus expanding every time I get lost on a sprint map!
I really really really want to do some kind of study on the right of Alzheimer's in orienteers versus non. The key cells that are affected super early on with Alzheimer's are exactly the ones that we use all the time in navigating new environments, and orienteering exactly fits the current best practice advice for preventing the disease.
Surely the Swedish healthcare system is built to do this study. Anyone out there who would like to collaborate? My boss giggles at me whenever I suggest it, but he's not exactly dismissive.
Second - would love for someone to invent an EEG that would work properly while people moved. Would love to see differences in brain activation during navigation in orienteers versus the general population. Can you play catching features inside an MRI?!
Promoting O' to elders
THE question is how to make them (+40) fell good to start a weekly running excersises in a forest instead to invite them to participate at the event as a single person and do it alone. If I need to create an event I would make a general invitation that every hour there would be a guided jog tour with an experienced orienteer through a simple o-course of 2-3k with a goal to learn how to navigate with the map. At the end Q&A.
I take part in something called the MN Field Trip Expo, which started out for schools and homeschool groups, then reached out to parks and rec planners, and as of last year are now reaching out to activity planners for retirement homes and elder care places. Although I am willing to talk to all, have many ideas on how to taylor the activities for getting the elders excited, have worked with differently abled kids and Pre-S, adjusting as needed, to multi skill and ability, I don't really get a chance. It is the planners which glance at it and have their minds made up that it is not for them, too much physical and mental strain, they think.... They always seem to be looking only for activities where one can bring them all to just listen and watch.... The next Expo is coming in a week - and I still don't know how to better reach out.
@andrea: Indoor-O? or Micro-O? inside the retirement home or on the grounds...
There are many retirees not living in retirement homes or in elder care quite happily running and doing other activities that should be a target market. We started O in our 50s and been active over 20 years. We’re tired of running races just following a set path with no thinking involved. Found O and loved it. And here we are all those years later still involved and supporting it.
Find others running the older age group classes and promote it there. We have time, wellness, less financial burden with kids gone. Perfect audience.
@walk - my main point was that there are people out there not even asking the elderly what they would like to maybe do or try, but rather told what they can still do. Through the planners there is a way to reach out to those in the retirement homes or communities. There are, however no planners looking for activities for those in the 50s and older not in retirement communities, the way to reach out to them and present orienteering is not that easy. There are parks who have "drop-in" activities, but usually for kids and families, again no general outreach.
@mikeminium: I do have Luc's Go4orienteering games, that can be set up indoors and outdoors. I have many games that can be adjusted for precision challenges. My question is not about what to do, but how would I even get those with their mind made up to consider it - I have not found a formula...
I have signed up for Community Ed programs, kids, youth and adults, only to never get enough to sign up to actually reach the minimum enrollment - I have temporarily given up on that as there are too many restrictions in addition to now having a number of never used maps....
Deal directly with the government. Have them draw up a new clause that pensioners cannot receive their fortnightly allowance without completing an O course.
My grandfather took up orienteering in his late '70s...and then brought his new wife and all their neighbours along and even convinced them to join our club!
I saw a Swedish study last (?) year which seems relevant, they tested elderly people active/inactive and among the active they had groups representing several forms of activities, the orienteers were the clear "winners", i.e. best all-over (physical & mental) health.
Terje, can you find that for me? If it's in Swedish I can read a bit - I'd love to read it!
I can find this : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26152308
which is not quite as elegant as the one you mention.
If there are Senior Games in your area, orienteering should be an offered activity. It has been on the program for 2 years in Montgomery County Pennsylvania and successful, thanks to DVOA. You catch older runners looking for something more interesting and hikers and people with an interest in adventure.
@kathyu - I guess to late for this year - do you know who in dvoa is the liaison or contact pouring this on, I would like to pick their brain and not reinvent the wheel.
andreis: Plug in your county name and Senior Games in to a google search and you should find out who is in charge locally. Sometimes it is the local recreation department. Sometimes local non-profit boards have been set up.
In Florida the local games seemed geared to finding qualifiers for the state senior games.
Back in the 1990s I participated in the New York Senior Games held those years in Syracuse. Entered and won medals in orienteering and triathlon even though I was not a NY resident. Those games were great with Syracuse University being the athlete village. It had the genuine multi-sport festival feel. Some of the older athletes walk around with 6-8 medals draped around their necks. Perhaps they'd love orienteering for a chance to win another medal.
@Becks: The pubmed link was the second such article I noticed, afair.
I believe there was another study which was even more positive, but it might just have been a Swedish-language writeup of the same research.
Anyway, it does strongly corroborate our intuition that a combination of physical exercise, in terrain providing very varied and normally quite low impact stress, along with an ongoing mental puzzle aspect should provide strong health benefits.
It is of course possible that senior Swedish orienteers are self-selected, only those with upper echelon mental and physical fitness find the activity so much fun that training becomes pure fun.
@gordhun I found them at my end. Would like to know what dvoa does, what kind of courses, did they create nearby maps, etc.
I used to enjoy multi-level festivals back in my younger days.
Mary Frank usually runs the senior games for DVOA for Montgomery County. She uses a map we have that is conveniently located for the county; we use is regularly for local club events as well. I've helped in past years and I believe she sets just one course or possibly two for different age groups. They are generally beginner/advanced beginner difficulty.
@Sandy - kathyu's info and Google got me to Mary, and Mary has already answered to my e-mail, yay!
I believe QOC is involved with orienteering in the Northern Virginia Senior Games, for what it's worth.
Since moving into a retirement community (OceanView at Falmouth - Maine) almost five years ago, I have mapped the "campus", which is about 1/2 km2 and put on more than 10 O events for the residents. Generally have from 6 to 12 participants ages 70 to 90+, I have also made an indoor map of the several interconnected apartment buildings with its various floors and had indoor O in winter or on rain days. I have been thinking about an article for ONA (tentative title "O for the Old"). Maybe this will spur me to write it. I have a lot to say about mapping, courses, type of event, and even using bamboo garden stakes to hang controls on (they work inside too, standing in corners).
We've had a recent influx of somewhat younger (early 70s) residents who want more outdoor activities. This year I started an "Outing Club" and there is demand for a compass workshop and use of a standard O map that I've been making (just for my own fun) of a local forest area.
All this has been aided by support from Ruth Johnson, many times US age group champ, who lives next door to Suzanne and me.
I heard comments like this isn't the demographic we want, but look at the age of our competitors and volunteers. This is a rapidly growing group of boomers who want to get out and have fun outdoors. And to top it off, we don't want current orienteers to "age out". The only remaining question is, will the presence of so many seniors "turn off" young people?
>The only remaining question is, will the presence of so many seniors "turn off" young people?
My thought exactly. I admit I was afraid of liberal-progressives to write it.
Orienteering is for young people. Old people, those 50+, should have separate meets, or at least maybe remote separate starts/finishes, not to repel the young, good-looking, healthy people away from the sport.
Good-looking, healthy people are a small minority amongst the young these days, with the obesity epidemic.
I haven't seen much evidence of the young, obese epidemic whilst in Europe. The young, smoking epidemic is a bit of a worry though.
Europe doesn't seem to have the same problem attracting people to orienteering as the US and Oz.
That's because they don't have an obesity problem.
We do have an obesity problem, we're simply a few decades behind the US. :-(
That said, fat people are extremely rare among orienteers.
The latest problem to be talked about round here is mental issues relating to body image, obsessive exercise, and the role of measurement devices and websites. But to return to the topic, it doesn't seem to be a retirement village thing...
On a previous trip to Europe I noticed there was a clear girth gradient travelling south to north through Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden. Sadly I felt I fitted in more in the north.
There must be an orienteer involved in this paper!
A tool for dementia research but no actual data on dementia yet - establishing performance characteristics across countries and genders. It's a really interesting read!
The summary (courtesy of AdventureGirl) is here:
I know what I'll be playing on the bus home :)
I heard about this game/research when it came out, so I am one of the people in their DB. I suspect that simply because news about it traveled across local orienteering fora, more orienteers took part and that could have skewed their numbers.
After all, who else practice map memory (which is what you needed to "win" this game) several times/week?
We were saying exactly that in the lab this afternoon Terje - you’d easily skew the population by a few prominent orienteers telling their friends about it!
If we are having separate events for older folks, we should probably have separate events for ugly people, too, so we don't scare anyone away. (Sorry, I was struggling to 'read' the tone of that earlier post ... trying to decide whether it was in jest, or whether it was really making me mad ... decided to assume the former ... I think...)
But seriously, orienteering can certainly meet different needs for different people. There is space in our sport for different types of events, including beginner events - whether in a city park or a retirement community. Not every event has the goal of "growing the sport" - some have the goal of "sharing the sport."
Speaking of retirement communities...best way to organize an event where most houses look the same?
Trivia questions would have to focus on the plantings out front or what color siding they have... Would just a general "find this location" (marked, say, by a piece of tape or a small flag) be interesting enough?
We do a lot of 3hr weeknight rogaines round here. The terrain can include urban areas and bushclad public land. Controls are "Q&A" (the term "trivia" doesn't do anything for me:-)) I would always use a fixed feature for a control site if available and I've never had a problem finding something about "House #1234" to ask a question on. In the bush its harder to find a question-able feature (deliberate pun) but the track system has plenty of bridges and signage. Off-track, we use bright orange ribbons with a letter on them. You could use those in urban areas but some would go missing, I think.
Light poles or fire hydrants sometimes have unique ID numbers. So you could ask for the number of the light pole on the SW corner of an intersection, for example.
I've used several "alternative punching" systems on events I've organized, most recently (on a company summit in the Philippines) I simply told each team that they had to take a team selfie at the start, in front of each control and the finish:
When they came back I got the exact times from the photo metadata and the images proved that they had been to the right spot. On a rogaine you could require GPS metadata for the photos?
On a big family cruise I made a 14+ layer map of the ship and the controls required you to either memorize or take photos of something special, like a painting alongside the door to cabin 5347.
"We're on a cruise! Let's get drunk and play shuffleboard! Do you think uncle Terje wants to join us?"
"Uh oh, looks like he's started fieldchecking already..."
@jjcote: Thanks for making my day! :-)
Sorry, no there was no field checking involved, I just took photos of the info boards outside each elevator and photoshopped them all together.https://tmsw.no/qr/show_map.php?user=terjem&ma...
The Purser's office was happy to print out 30+ copies for me.
Did anybody get a GPS track of their route on the cruise ship?
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