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Life Science Zurich Communication & Events

Mr. Deetlefs Sings in Cavalleria Rusticana

Keeping active in later life keeps you healthy. MOASIS is a study conducted by UZH to examine how older people live and the effect this has on their fitness levels and well-being. The message is clear: use it or lose it.

Hiking together in the mountains: exercise and social contact keep us physically and mentally fit. (Photo: amriphoto/iStock)

Hannes Deetlefs is an active – we might even say busy – pensioner. He writes books, offers others help with their English, tends to his self-made model railway in the garden, sings in choirs, paints with oils, likes to cook (and experiment), has celebrated his fiftieth wedding anniversary and is “still in love”. Having recently passed his “audition” with the cantonal doctor, the 76-year-old is still permitted to drive buses, coaches, and trucks – and large motorbikes, a fact he underlines as pursuing his passion for heavy vehicles is another hobby. By profession, Hannes Deetlefs was a teacher of languages and mathematics.

Deetlefs is one of 150 participants in MOASIS, a study conducted for the University’s research priority program “Dynamics of Healthy Aging”. MOASIS stands for Mobility, Activity and Social Interactions Study, and involves test persons aged between 65 and 90 years old whose everyday behavior is recorded over a period of 30 days. The aim of the interdisciplinary long-term study, which will be continued this year, is to understand what healthy older people do every day and how this affects their health and well-being.

UZH News