Keep Moving to Live Longer

It has always been known that mobility enhances quality of life but recently there have been some studies that have suggested that it can actually lengthen one’s days as well.  Two particular examples of this were found via the British Journal of Sports Medicine and the Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA).

In a study with 1,000 men aged between 71 and 92, it was found that mortality risk was reduced by 15 percent for every thousand steps taken each day.  According to the leader of the study, Associate Associate Professor of Exercise, Health, and Physical Activity at Sydney University Emmanuel Stamatakis, “Importantly this showed that it did not matter how participants accumulated their physical activity. The key public health message from this study is that any movement in this age group matters.”

Over in HiOA, Linda Kvæl, physiotherapist and doctoral research fellow found that elderly individuals suffering from dementia who have good muscle strength, balance and high gait speed tend to be much less depressed.  She said:

“Depression is a complex phenomenon, and physical functioning is not the sole reason here. There are many factors at play. But it is clear that physical function such as balance, muscular strength and condition can be positive for nursing home residents who have dementia.  I believe the quality of life or nursing home residents would improve if they were given the opportunity to maintain their physical functioning and to walk from place to place themselves. It will give them the opportunity to maintain their strength and balance longer.”