Among older adults at risk of disability, participation in a structured moderate-intensity physical activity program, compared with a health education intervention, significantly reduced the risk of major mobility disability (defined in this trial as loss of ability to walk 400 meters, or about a quarter-mile), according to a study published by JAMA.
Marco Pahor, M.D., of the University of Florida, Gainesville, and colleagues with the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) study, randomly assigned sedentary men and women (age 70 to 89 years) who were able to walk 400 meters to a structured, moderate-intensity physical activity program (n = 818) conducted in a center and at home that included aerobic, resistance, and flexibility training activities, or to a health education program (n = 817), consisting of workshops on topics relevant to older adults and upper extremity stretching exercises. The adults participated for an average of 2.6 years.
Major mobility disability (loss of ability to walk 400 meters) was experienced by 246 participants (30.1 percent) in the physical activity group and 290 participants (35.5 percent) in the health education group. Persistent mobility disability (two consecutive major mobility disability assessments or major mobility disability followed by death) was experienced by 14.7 percent of participants in the physical activity group and 19.8 percent of participants in the health education group.
Source: Medical News Today.
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