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Stay active be happy!

CANCER DIGEST – July 23, 2023 – Another study shows that older adults who are more active and less sedentary have a higher quality of life.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Dharani Yerrakalva from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom, conducted a study to examine activity levels of 1,433 people aged 60 and older using accelerometers, devices that measure vibration and acceleration. Many smartphone, health watches and other devices use accelerometers to measure steps, etc.

The device used in the study was worn on the hip for seven days between 2006 and 2011 and again between 2012 and 2016. Data from the two periods were compared and analyzed. In addition the participants were recruited to take part in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC) study that looked at health-related quality of life measures such as pain, ability to care for oneself, anxiety, and mood, based on responses to a standardized questionnaire.

Participants were followed for an average of just under six years. The results of the study were published June 22, 2023 in the journal Health and Quality of Life Outcomes.

After six years participants were doing on average 24 minutes less moderate-to-vigorous activity per day. At the same time, total sedentary time increased by an average of 33 minutes per day for men and 38 minutes per day for women.

Those who did more physical activity and spent less sedentary time on their first assessment scored higher on the quality of life questionnaire. For every minute a day of less activity over the six years showed a drop in quality of life scores.

Increases in sedentary behavior were associated with poorer quality of life scores. To put the results in perspective each 0.1 point improvement in quality of life scores were associated with a 6.9 percent reduction in early death and a 4.2 percent reduction in 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," Dr. Dharani Yerrakalva said in a press release. "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 wellbeing.”

Sources: University of Cambridge press release and the journal Health and Quality of Life Outcomes


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