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Know More Light Physical Activity Linked To Lower Mortality In Older Women: Study

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

According to a new study, getting elderly people to engage in physical activity, even if it is to do simple daily chores, can lower their mortality risk, says Anindra Siqueira

Even a little physical activity among elderly women can lower the risk of mortality, a new study says. The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, was conducted between March 2012 and April 2014 and looked at more than 6,300 women aged 63 to 99-years-old. The women wore triaxial accelerometers on their hips to measure how much physical activity they were getting.

The study followed the women for more than three years, through September 2016, and looked at the 450 deaths reported from among the initial group. When adjusted for age, race-ethnicity, education, smoking, alcohol consumption and how long the women wore the accelerometers, the study found that those women who engaged in light physical activity for 30 minutes a day had 12% less risk of death, while those who engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for half an hour each day saw a 39% reduction in mortality risk. What’s interesting to note is that these relative risk factors did not differ between subgroups for age or race and ethnicity.

In the study, for the participants’ age group, light physical activities include doing chores such as folding clothes, sweeping the floor and washing windows. Moderate and vigorous activities included brisk-walking or cycling at a leisurely pace.

The findings suggest that replacing sedentary time in older women with light-intensity physical activity is a public health strategy that could benefit an ageing society. However, the authors conclude that further investigation is warranted.

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