Structured Physical Activity Program Can Help Maintain Mobility in Vulnerable Older People
A carefully structured, moderate physical activity program
can reduce risk of losing the ability to walk without assistance, perhaps the
single most important factor in whether vulnerable older people can maintain
their independence, according to a National
Institute on Aging study.
“It is common for an older person’s world to shrink as
walking becomes more difficult and they get out and interact with family and
friends less often. The interactions are critical to a high quality of life and
have health benefits of their own,” said Stephen Kritchevsky, Ph.D.,
director of the Sticht Center on Aging and lead investigator for the clinical trial site at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
In this study, researchers found that a regular, balanced
and moderate physical activity program followed for an average of 2.6 years
reduced the risk of major mobility disability by 18 percent in an elderly,
vulnerable population. Results are published online in the Journal of the
American Medical Association.
Wake Forest Baptist was one of
eight clinical trial sites for this study and also coordinated the
study’s data management and analysis.
Read the NIA news release
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