Histories of Healthy Ageing Conference

  • Van Swinderen Huys (Oude Boteringestraat 19, 9712 GC Groningen)
  • Zorg Innovatie Forum

As Western popuations grow increasingly older, 'healthy ageing' is presented as one of today's greatest medical and social challenges. However, contrary to what many policy makers want us to believe, the aspiration to live long, healthy and happy is not a problem specific to our times. On the contrary successful ageing has a long history.
The conference Histories of Healthy Ageing (HHA) is based on the assumption that 'healthy ageing' has informed the medical agenda since Antiquity. With 'healthy ageing' we refer to ways of thinking about treating the body not only from a medical perspective, but also taking into account questions of what constitutes a happy and fulfilled life. In particular these latter issues were central to medicine before 1800 and relate to healthy living as much as to questions connected specifically to old age. Thus whether we speak of classic ways of training the athlete’s body, medieval religious rites, the pre-­modern obsession with regimen (rules for living a healthy life), or the upper-­class fancy to visit spas, at the root of it all was a wish for wellbeing, health and longevity.

The conference focuses especially (but not exclusively) on the pre­ÔÇÉmodern period.

At the conference 5 keynote lectures will centre on the non-naturals, the areas defined by Hipocratic writers as basis of health management and disease prevention:

  • Food and Drink by Elizabeth Williams (Oklahoma State)
  • Exercise and Rest by Onno van Nijf (Groningen)
  • Sleep and Wakefulness by William Maclehose (UC London)
  • Excretion and Retention by Michael Stolberg (Würzburg)
  • Perturbations of the Mind & Emotions by Irina Metzler (Swansea)

Register here!

Do you want to know more about the HHA conference? Click this link.

The conference is part of the project Vital Matters and is sponsored by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

Detail from Johannes Zacharias Simon Prey 'Allegory of Medicine' (c 1791). Wellcome Library London.
Detail from Johannes Zacharias Simon Prey 'Allegory of Medicine' (c 1791). Wellcome Library London.