What’s one of the best and least expensive ways to live a longer life? The surprisingly simple answer: move around! Adding even a little bit of physical movement to your daily routine can have a dramatic effect on your longevity.
That’s the surprising conclusion from a very recent study authored by a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania in cooperation with colleagues from several other major institutions. We found this eye-opening article on the website SeniorJournal.com, and it’s definitely worth the read.
The comprehensive study looked at data from some 3,000 people in the 50-79 year old age group. Each participant wore a sensitive tracking device called an accelerometer every day for one week to measure even the smallest types of physical movement. Once this data was collected, researchers tracked mortality rates for participants for the next eight years.
The results, says the article, were striking. The people who were the least active had a mortality rate five times greater than the most active people. Even compared to those in the middle range of daily activity, the mortality rate among those who moved the least was three times greater. This difference was still evident even when researchers took into account diseases such as diabetes and heart disease that tend to impede physical movement.
The study’s lead author, Ezra Fishman, made it clear that simple daily activities help. “The folks who were walking around, washing the dishes, sweeping the floor tended to live longer than the people who were sitting at a desk,” Fishman said.
This study is considered more accurate than previous surveys because movement was measured electronically, with devices calibrated to gauge even minor amounts of activity. Past studies have relied on self-reporting and self-monitoring, which tends to result in participants exaggerating the amount of exercise and other activity they actually perform each day.
How much activity is ideal? According to the article, there’s no simple answer. “Though the scientists didn’t discover any magic threshold for the amount a person needs to move to improve mortality, they did learn that even adding just 10 minutes per day of light activity could make a difference.” According to lead author Ezra Fishman, “You didn’t have to even get a good sweat to experience the reduced likelihood of mortality.” That’s great news for all of us as we age.
Here’s more great news: if you’re worried about planning for your retirement, thinking that the process has to be complicated, take heart. Here at Aging Options we stand ready to serve as your guide, helping you put together what we call a LifePlan, a roadmap leading you to a secure retirement in which you are able to protect your assets, avoid unplanned institutional care, and stop worrying about becoming a burden to those you love. As a first step, we cordially invite you to attend a free LifePlanning Seminar at a location near you. You’ll come away with valuable information to help you start developing your LifePlan. Then if you would like to meet with us to complete the planning process, we would welcome the opportunity.
So all you have to do is get moving! Simply click on the Upcoming Events tab on this website, and register online. We’ll look forward to meeting you soon.
(originally reported at www.seniorjournal.com)