Exercise in older age can help prevent heart disease, dementia, diabetes and cancer.
It may be a general view that once we reach our older years it’s a good time to sit back and relax but previous studies have shown the positive effects regular exercise has for people of any age especially those reaching later life.
But the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning that almost 31 million elderly Americans are sedentary and not doing any more than basic daily movements. The statement comes after the CDC analyzed a national health survey from 2014 which primarily focused on the elderly showing that more than a quarter of over-50s are not taking part in any exercise.
This is a big worry for America’s ageing population. Regular exercise routines are essential for helping to prevent health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and some kinds of cancer, all of which can increase in risk with age.
“Adults benefit from any amount of physical activity,” said Janet Fulton, chief of the Physical Activity and Health Branch at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and co-author of the study. “Helping inactive people become more physically active is an important step towards healthier and more vibrant communities.”
The statistics show, out of the inactive percentage, just over 29 percent were women and nearly 26 percent were men. It also showed the older people get the more inactive they become with 35 percent of people 75 or older doing the least exercise, 27 percent of people aged between 65 and 74, while those aged 50 to 64 made up 25 percent.
“More work is needed to make it safer and easier for people of all ages and abilities to be physically active in their communities,” stated lead author Kathleen Watson, an epidemiologist in the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity.
Details of the study were published in the CDC’s September Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.