It is common knowledge that physical activity improves health and thus contributes to longevity. It is, however, debatable how intensive these physical activities should be to help in extending the life.
The results of a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine by Swedish researchers from the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm have demonstrated that even simple physical activities such as gardening or home repair can make a positive contribution to health and longevity.
Elderly people tend to be more sedentary, spending lots of time in bed or sitting in a sofa. In the long term, this can change the hormonal balance in the body, slow down metabolic processes in the muscles and contribute to further acceleration of the aging process.
Activity is a key to longevity
Proper physical exercises are often no longer an option for elderly people. However, any activity that involves moving around does help in preserving cardiovascular health. Swedish scientists were monitored a large group of people aged 60 or above for twelve years. Their findings indicate that more active elderly people reduce their risk of stroke by 27% and their risk of dying from any cause by 30%. The exact nature of the activity was not that important, as long as it involved staying off the sofa. People who were involved in more vigorous exercise reduced their risks of health problems even further.
The study confirms the common notion that active pensioners tend to fair better and live longer. This seems to be connected with the fact that even moderate physical activity prevents or delay the irreversible age-related changes in the body.
Simple physical activities such as gardening and DIY at home help to significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases in elderly people. Such activities contribute to longevity and reduce the risk of dying from any causes.
- Elin Ekblom-Bak, Björn Ekblom, Max Vikström et al. The importance of non-exercise physical activity for cardiovascular health and longevity. Br J Sports Med.