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The Musculoskeletal System: The Science of Staying Active into Old Age

Newcastle University , The University of Sheffield and University of Liverpool via FutureLearn


This free online course has been developed by The Medical Research Council Versus Arthritis Centre for Integrated Research into Musculoskeletal Ageing, a collaboration between the Universities of Liverpool, Sheffield and Newcastle. On this course, you’ll learn why our bones, joints and muscles function less well as we age, and discover how best to live well as we get older.

This course is designed for patients, carers and people who lead active lives and would appreciate knowing how their lifestyle is likely to affect their long-term health. It may also inspire you to study or research musculoskeletal ageing. No previous biological experience is needed.

This course will also be ideal for those from a non-biological background who may be interested in studying or researching musculoskeletal ageing at postgraduate level. For more information see our MRes and PhD training pages on our web site.

Taught by

Michael Trenell, Peter Grabowski and Lesley Iwanejko

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4.8 rating, based on 317 reviews

Start your review of The Musculoskeletal System: The Science of Staying Active into Old Age

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I found this course to be very interesting and have learnt so much from it, it has made me to take a look at my own life style and the changes i can make. Exercise for one is at the top of my list especially to incorporate some aerobic exercise. I have...
  • Profile image for Veronica Maged
    Veronica Maged

    Veronica Maged completed this course.

    I'm 62 years old and terrified of getting older with no information about this process. I 'm in very good health and I feel young and so far nothing changes regarding my energy to do things. I'm single and have been waiting to be retired to learning everything...
  • Anonymous
    This course was interesting, informative and well designed. It offered different perspectives on the topic; it included sub-areas such as nutrition, health and movement; the activities were well designed; I mean, there was a balance between information provided through articles or videos and discussion. The questions posed made me reflect on what was being discussed. Besides, I felt there were always suggestions as to what I could do in order to improve any of the areas under discussion.

    I learned a lot, I enjoyed reading the articles or watching the videos. Thanks a lot !

  • Anonymous
    Depressing, at the same time full of positive messages. some of the medical technical terms I tended to skip over. Advice on exercise and diet was good and down to earth in summery. I did learn new information about how my body works and particularly vitamin D.

    The course will change my lifestyle a bit although I try to run at least twice a week and would swim at least that if it was not for this pandemic. My diet is reasonable by the standards set out in the course.

    Thank you a lot of work has gone into this venture.
  • Anonymous
    I found this course to be extremely interesting and would encourage younger people to take an interest in completing it if and when they have the time. I'm sure it would benefit the majority of the population prior to become old and muscle and joint movement have disappeared.
    The level of detail in which the course was set I thought was about right and its interesting to know that the studies into ageing is still progressing.
    Thank you to all who have set up and taken part in the course

    Yours sincerely
  • Anonymous
    Although I have been involved in clinical work all of my working life, it did not involve these parts of our bodies. This course updated on some knowledge that I had and greatly added to my understanding the relevant aspects of the aging processes. I'll be in discussions with other people in my my family and local community with a view to improving lifestyle in terms of not only safe physical activities but also the associated nutritional requirements. This will hopefully improve social interaction that may likely also help with feeling a better sense of wellbeing / enhanced mental health.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Very informative and easy to understand. Made me more aware of the interlinking of these systems and what they need to continue functioning well. I do think that in sections on physical activity it would be helpful for some acknowledgement for disabled students and suggestions at integrating activity into their lives when they cannot join a gym, walking club etc. I found it quite frustrating as someone who is limited in their physical capacity to be urged to exercise. In some ways lack of acknowledgement made me feel as if I am a bit written off. Sorry if this sounds a bit "snowflake"
  • Anonymous
    A very interesting course about the effects of ageing on the muscles and bones, and on health and well-being in general. It has provided me with lots of insights into the ageing process and some useful information about how I might stay well as I age more. Thank you.
  • Anonymous
    This course gave me some information I previously did not have around protein requirements for my age group (I prefer not to say "elderly"). I am pleased to say I'm pretty well informed and although I did learn a few new facts, I didn't learn much about how to improve my health. I noted from the discussions that most attending were focused on health as a life it's a matter of "Preaching to the choir". Well done on a short course. Lots of good info.
  • Anonymous
    This is a wide-ranging course consisting of: the biology of the musculoskeletal system, the importance of exercise and a good diet. I found that it held my interest through interesting articles and short lively videos.

    Much information was fairly detailed, but always explained clearly and simply. Because I am very interested in this topic I was familiar with some aspects, but I still learnt a great deal. This course is designed for learners at many levels. If health interests you then this course is for you.
  • Anonymous
    Thank you so much for offering this course. I learned about synovial fluid drying up and therefore limiting the amount of cushion between the joints . I learned about exercising with arthritis and diet that could help

    Weight bearing joints are especially vulnerable to synovial fluid depletion Loved it thanks again

  • Anonymous
    We all know as we get older we slow down and loose ability to perform certain functions but why and how we can help prevent or at least delay this process is very interesting and our diet and exercise can help so much.

    Much we already knew is confirmed but also many things added to this knowledge from the course.
  • Anonymous
    It's very interesting and it helps us to change some of our lifestyles.

    I have really loved the whole sessions that are intricately woven together by the amazing professors.

    Not to forget the patients that give their real-life experiences in the various issues affecting their musculoskeletal health
  • Anonymous
    A well designed, well presented and interesting course. It essentially split into two themes:- information about how to achieve and maintain a healthy old age, and the design of research projects intended to obtain that information. It was the former aspect that was of greatest interest to me.
  • Santos Jorge May Chan
    Este curso me sirve para ser instrumentista en cirugias traumatolilogicas? Y cuando empezaria el curso y los requisitos, e participado en algunas cirugias como, ayudante de instrumentista y me gusta y atrae el saber mi colaboracion para la mejoria de la salud de un paciente.
  • Profile image for HAJAH NORMADIAH GHANI
    A comprehensive and exhaustive effort to show that musculoskeletal system goes downhill with ageing yet, people can prevent age-old problems if they maintain a balanced diet. Nutrition can help prevent in fact, maintain bones even as one grows older.
  • Lorelei Drake
    This course provided manageable stages of learning with very informative video presentations that helped me gain a better understanding of the topics covered.

    Quizzes for me were a valuable tool for reviewing and assessing my knowledge of the material.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This is an enjoyable and interesting course with lots of information relative to enhancing our everyday lives for now and in the future.
    I have taken some of what I have learned from this course and will be using it to hopefully look after my body better for the future.
  • Anonymous
    This is a really helpful course for people wanting to learn about this topic.

    A mix of information about our bodies and how to look after them as we age.
  • Anonymous
    An interesting & informative course that those without any knowledge of the musculoskeletal system can easily study.

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