Getting off the sofa and doing something active gives those over 60 a better quality of life, according to a British study.
“Cambridge University, researchers studied more than 1,400 people over six years to prove the connection,” said SWNS.
Although it is known that activity keeps you healthier than sitting around, it was not known if those who were active actually enjoyed a better life.
Researchers examined activity levels among 1,433 participants aged 60 and above using accelerometers.
The participants had been recruited to the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer)-Norfolk study.
Alongside this, they looked at health-related quality of life, a measure of health and well-being that includes pain, ability to care for yourself and anxiety or mood.
Participants were given a score between 0 (worst quality of life) and 1(best) based on their responses to a questionnaire.
Those involved were followed up six years later with the results published in the journal Health and Quality Of Life Outcomes.
“A reduction in the amount of time spent physically active when adults are over 60 years old is linked to lower quality of life,” said the research.
The same was also true for increases in the amount of sedentary time, such as watching TV or reading.
At the same time, the total sedentary time increased by an average of around 33 minutes a day for men and around 38 minutes a day for women.
Just 15 minutes less moderate to vigorous activity a day saw a drop of nearly half (0.45) in quality of life.
And someone who spent 15 minutes a day more sitting down would have seen their score drop by 0.18.
The researchers say the results highlight the need to encourage older adults to remain active.
To put the results into a clinical context, a 0.1-point improvement in quality of life scores has previously been associated with a 6.9 percent reduction in early death and a 4.2 percent reduction in risk of hospitalization.
“Keeping yourself active and limiting – and where you can, breaking up – the amount of time you spend sitting down is really important whatever stage of life you’re at,” said Dr. Dharani Yerrakalva from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge.
“This seems to be particularly important in later life when it can lead to potentially significant improvements to your quality of life and your physical and mental well-being.
“There are several ways in which improvements in our physical behaviors might help maintain a better quality of life,” said the research.
Physical activity is known to reduce the risk of a number of diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
The NHS recommends that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week.
Older adults are also recommended to break up prolonged periods of being sedentary with light activity when physically possible, or at least withstanding, as this has distinct health benefits for older people.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager
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