Older people exercise less and less



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A study conducted by the University of Jaén reveals that people over the age of 65 don’t get enough exercise. Experts stress the importance of preserving physical performance to prevent the negative consequences of aging.

Exercise in the elderly prevents or delays the alterations associated with aging, thereby preventing disability and loss of function. However, those over 65 do not get enough physical exercise.

This is the conclusion of the study, which confirms that the population over 65 is less and less physically active. Researchers analyzed exercise, functional limitations, excess weight and obesity, self-rated health status, and chronic health issues in this segment of the population.

The experts used data from 12,546 people, divided into three age groups 65-74, 75-84 and over 85 from the European Health Survey in Spain (EHSS), conducted in 2009 and 2014 .

The results, published in the European Journal of Public Health, indicate that participants in 2014 had poorer values ​​for moderate physical activity and self-rated health than in 2009.

“From 2009 to 2014, the physical activity levels of the elderly in Spain decreased, while the body mass index did not increase,” Pedro Ángel Latorre Román explains to Sinc. This fact is consistent with a deteriorated perception of the state of health in 2014 and with an increase in disease levels.

In 2014, the percentage of people with illnesses or chronic health problems was higher than in 2009, as was the percentage of older people with serious difficulty walking 500 meters without assistance and extreme limitations in climbing or descending. stairs of 12 steps.

Román says: “These data underline the importance of integrating exercise programs at an early stage of aging to preserve physical performance and prevent the negative consequences of aging.

Prevent the consequences of aging

Western Europe has one of the oldest populations in the world. In Spain, life expectancy is 78.9 years for men and 84.9 years for women. Since aging has been associated with frailty and functional limitation, promoting regular physical activity is one of the main non-pharmaceutical measures offered for older people.

Indeed, many studies have shown that moderate exercise in the elderly reduces mortality, decreases the risk of dementia, has a positive effect in preventing coronary heart disease, reduces blood pressure, prevents stroke, type 2 diabetes and falls, and improves quality of life.

Physical exercise improves quality of life for older people in nursing homes

More information:
Pedro A Latorre-Román et al. Physical activity, weight and functional limitations in the elderly in Spain: the National Health Survey (2009-2014), European Journal of Public Health (2017). DOI: 10.1093 / eurpub / ckx219

Provided by Plataforma SINC

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