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Don't Just Sit There, Do Something! Part 15 Disability

Posted Nov 13 2012 3:00am
When was the last time you listened to children talking to each other?  Remember those conversations about what you wanted to be when you grew up?  Astronaut?  Policeman?  Fireman?  Doctor?  How about disabled?  I bet we never grew up thinking that we might become disabled.  After all, disability is something that happens to someone else, right?  Not to us!

Luckily, it turns out that we can do something about our future.  Remember that recent studies have linked more  physical activity & fitness to greater  life expectancy  and lower risk of  dementia & depression .  So it should come as no surprise that a longitudinal prospective cohort study was published last month in BMC Geriatrics  in which the authors concluded that greater daily physical activity is associated with less disability in the elderly.  To arrive at their conclusion, the authors followed for 3-4yrs 870 participants (average 82yo), basically healthy at baseline, and found that every 100,000 counts/day was associated with 25% lower risk of disability.  Notice that actigraphy was used to confirm activity, not a pedometer for which 10,000 steps/day has become the mantra.

Bottom line: you don't envision yourself in a nursing home being pushed around in a wheelchair, right?  You see yourself running around w/your grandchildren, right?  Well, the best way to make that dream come true is to get active now and to stay active.

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