Tags: muscle | inactivity | harmful | seniors

Muscle Inactivity More Harmful for Older People

Muscle Inactivity More Harmful for Older People
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By    |   Friday, 05 January 2018 11:53 AM

A recent study published in The Journal of Physiology points out one reason why it's so important for seniors to remain physically active — and to get active again after a period of enforced inactivity such as hospitalization. Italian researchers found that the same period of inactivity has a greater and more severe impact on the muscles of the elderly than young people.  

The study, which was conducted by the University of Udine in conjunction with the University of Padova found that not using muscles even a short time can dramatically enhance the decline in muscle mass and functional capacity, such as the ability to climb stairs. The decline was especially dramatic in the elderly.

Researchers studied the impact of complete inactivity in a group of elderly subjects that were bedridden in a hospital environment for weeks, and the results were compared with young subjects.

There was a difference in single muscle fiber response to disuse, a more pronounced loss of muscle mass, and a change in how muscle contraction is controlled by the nervous system in elderly subjects compared to young individuals. In addition, the recovery phase was more difficult in the elderly group.

Lead investigator Carlo Reggiani noted that the study was conducted using healthy elderly people, and the effects of inactivity and the difficulty recovering might be more pronounced in seniors who were suffering from diseases.

Several studies released in 2017 found that even modest physical activity improves the health of seniors. A recent study conducted at the University Hospital of Saint-Etienne found that devoting just 15 minutes to exercise every day — at the level of intensity of a brisk walk —  lowered the risk of dying by 22 percent in older adults. Those who exercised more lowered their risk by 35 percent when compared to those who didn't exercise at all.

A study led by researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University found that seniors who add only 48 minutes of moderate physical activity a week improve their overall physical capabilities and decrease their risk of disability.

Even ordinary household chores provide benefits. A study from the University of Buffalo found that simple activities, such as folding laundry and sweeping floors, also helped prolong the lives of seniors.

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A recent study published in The Journal of Physiology points out one reason why it's so important for seniors to remain physically active - and to get active again after a period of enforced inactivity such as hospitalization. Italian researchers found that the same period...
muscle, inactivity, harmful, seniors
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2018-53-05
Friday, 05 January 2018 11:53 AM
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