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Physical Activity is a Must for Maintaining Health When We are Elderly...But How Much is Needed?

Hello everyone, today we are going to briefly discuss the major finding of an article recently published in PLoS One titled "Dose of physical activity, physical functioning and disability risk in mobility-limited older adults: Results from the LIFE study randomized trial.".

In this article the authors were studying the effects that physical activity had on keeping elderly people able to move around. What they were interested in for this study was trying to identify the minimum amount of activity that was necessary to still result in positive mobility and general health outcomes for the elderly.

Many of us have elderly grandparents, parents, and some of us probably plan on getting old at some point in our own lives as well. So studies like this that can better influence public health information and can lead to better doctors recommendations for activity levels as we age can end up having a profound effect on the quality of life that we and our loved ones will have as we inevitably feel the effects of time on our bodies.

Let us not belabor this article with a huge amount of background, but rather jump as quickly as we can into discussing the results and conclusions of the study.

Physical Inactivity In Health

Many of you may be surprised to find out that one of the biggest risk factors to our elderly loved ones becoming disabled (aka having some limitations in their ability to move around) is actually a lack physical activity. [2]

Perhaps though, if I phrase it in a different way it isn't as surprising. Exercise has been found to be linked to a drastic reduction in health issues in older people. Studies have shown that the chances of common ailments of the elderly which effect mobility including falling, broken hips, and heart disease are all improved by exercise.[3], [4], [5]

What Did The Authors Study Here

This was a 2.6 year study involving over 1600 people between the ages of 70 and 89 years. Each...

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