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

  • Categories Healthcare
  • Duration 28h
  • Total Enrolled 0
  • Last Update January 21, 2021

About Course

The University of Sheffield


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.


What topics will you cover?

  • What is musculoskeletal health?
    Identify the components of the musculoskeletal system and explain how they fit together. Find out how ageing affects the musculoskeletal system; learn about common, age-related musculoskeletal disorders; and discuss the impact of such disorders on society and quality of life.
  • How can exercise benefit the musculoskeletal system?
    Explore the impact of physical activity – and inactivity – on bones, muscles and joints. Find out why exercise can be good and bad, not just for cardiovascular health, but also for your musculoskeletal system as you age. Examine, through case studies, why clinical care teams make decisions about physical activity as they do.
  • How can diet benefit the musculoskeletal system?
    Extend your knowledge of the role of nutrition in musculoskeletal health, learn which foods provide important nutrients for our muscles and bones, and understand how dietary recommendations for musculoskeletal health change as we age.


Who will you learn with?

Lesley Iwanejko

I am research scientist and lecturer in genetics at the University of Liverpool. In addition to science I enjoy writing and reading poetry, playing golf and opera singing.



Peter Grabowski

I am a Registered Nutritionist (Nutrition Science) and Course Director of the Masters in Medical Science in Human Nutrition at the University of Sheffield, UK.



Michael Trenell

I am a Professor of Metabolism & Lifestyle Medicine and National Institute for Health Research Senior Fellow at Newcastle University.



Who developed the course?

The University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is one of the world’s top 100 universities with a reputation for teaching and research excellence.

What Will I Learn?

  • Identify the key components of the musculoskeletal system and explain how they fit together.
  • Explain how ageing affects the musculoskeletal system.
  • Describe common age-related problems of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Discuss the impacts of musculoskeletal ageing on society and quality of life.
  • Explore the impact of physical activity and inactivity on bones, muscles and joints.
  • Identify the most important nutritional factors required for a healthy musculoskeletal system.
  • Discuss how ageing and other factors affect nutritional needs and dietary habits for the musculoskeletal system.
  • Explain how scientists and health professionals determine dietary requirements.
  • Identify good dietary and other sources of essential nutrients.

Topics for this course

17 Lessons28h

Welcome to course?

Malcolm Jackson from the Centre for Integrated Research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA) welcomes you to the course.
Welcome to the course VIDEO (02:43)00:02:43
What is good for the musculoskeletal system? DISCUSSION

What is the musculoskeletal system??

Before we look at what happens when the musculoskeletal system ages, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what the musculoskeletal system does, what it looks like and how it works.

How and why does the musculoskeletal system age??

We look at the biological and evolutionary processes behind musculoskeletal ageing.

Mobility and ageing?

The changes that occur with ageing can lead to problems with a person’s ability to move around. In this activity, we'll explain why maintaining a healthy walking gait is an important part of ageing well.

Ageing and disease?

We address some common age-related problems such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis and talk to patients of musculoskeletal disorders to find out what impact musculoskeletal ageing has had on them.


We reflect on what we have learned in this lesoon.

Material Includes

  • Official Certificate

Target Audience

  • 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.