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Modest Midlife Exercise Seems Able to Ward Off Disability, Early Death — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
April 30, 2014

Modest Midlife Exercise Seems Able to Ward Off Disability, Early Death

By Joe Elia

Two BMJ studies illustrate the dangers of inactivity in middle age, as well as show a simple way to get more activity.

The first study used accelerometers to monitor 7 days of physical activity (light or moderate in intensity) among some 1800 adults over age 49 who had knee osteoarthritis or were at risk for it. At 2 years' follow-up, even light-intensity activities were significantly related to avoidance of disability onset or progression.

The second study examined the prognostic value of grip strength, chair-rise speed, and standing balance in some 2800 adults (age at baseline, 53 years) followed up after 13 years. Those in the lowest quintile of composite scores had nearly quadruple the risk for all-cause mortality, compared with those in the highest quintile of achievement.

To avoid disability or early death, an editorialist suggests that increasing light activity by over an hour a day (say, by walking around during television commercials) "might do the trick."

Reader Comments (1)

Dorcas P.Greene, Masters in Counseling Other Healthcare Professional, Other, Counselor for Family Caregivers;sub specialty Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, Parkinson's Disease, Lewy Body

Preventive care of chronic disease family caregivers. Thank you for identifying the need for mid age physical activity and stress control of family/partner caregivers. Early intervention for aging adults and the frail elderly helps to keep elderly women from dying in poverty.

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