October 20, 2014
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

 Health Home >>  >>   

Seniors who exercise have better mobility, overall health

Provided by: RELAXNEWS
Written by: Relaxnews
May. 28, 2014

Generic: Portrait of a happy mature couple walking with bicycle in countryside, fitness, senior, bike, light exercise, forest, sport (Yuri Arcurs/shutterstock.com)


Two studies announced this week indicate that exercise is critical for helping seniors retain their mobility, reduce their prescription use and stay out of hospitals.

Ad
Exercise scientists at the University of Florida observed 1,635 sedentary seniors ages 70 to 89 with dwindling mobility and found that physical activity was a likely determinant in who succumbed to old age disability and who did not.

According to co-principal investigator Jack Guralnik, Ph.D., consistent physical activity staved off mobility loss by nearly 30 percent in the study, which was announced on May 27 and is soon to be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers in the American study considered seniors able to walk 400 meters, approximately one quarter mile, to be sufficiently mobile for independent living.

"That we had an even bigger impact on persistent disability is very good," said Guralnik, a professor of epidemiology and public health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a UF faculty member. "It implies that a greater percentage of the adults who had physical activity intervention recovered when they did develop mobility disability."

Meanwhile, a study conducted at the University of Bristol and published in PLOS ONE found that of 213 participants, whose average age was 78, those who exercised moderately just 25 minutes per day had far fewer health problems.

Prescription use was reduced by 50% over a four-year span following the intervention for those who exercised a minimum of 25 minutes per day.

The most active participants in the British study, who exercised an average of 39 minutes per day, saw 50 percent fewer emergency room visits than their less active peers.

"We know that leading a physically active life has health benefits for all ages, but this study suggests there may also be economic benefits by reducing reliance on medication and preventing costly emergency hospital admissions," says Dr. Bethany Simmonds and Professor Ken Fox, from Bristol University's Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences. "Our findings further support the need for greater availability of community-based programs to increase physical activity and prevent loss of lower limb function."

The results of the studies could suggest a need for more development in senior fitness, particularly the need to design exercise curriculums tailored to individuals in their 70s and 80s.

View more news


Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.

The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your physician or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Never disregard any advice given to you by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site is not a substitute for medical advice.

© 1996 - 2014 MediResource Inc. - MediResource reaches millions of Canadians each year.