– EN Fitness & Wellbeing – A daily brisk walk could double a 70-year-old’s chances of living past 80, a new study has found.
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore tested the fitness levels of 6,500 participants aged 70 or older between 1991 and 2009.
During the trials, the senior citizens were asked to work out on a treadmill as hard as they could, while the researchers observed their levels
They were then monitored for a period of 10 years, during which 39 per cent of participants passed away.
Following up a decade later, findings showed that those who were the most physically active were twice as likely to be alive at least 10 years on than those who were less active.
The findings were regardless of whether or not the participants had any heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking.
The study is one in a long line of similar investigations, with researchers urging the medical profession to better utilise fitness-monitoring technologies as key indicators of health.
Researchers plan to use the statistics to urge physicians to encourage and promote regular exercise to elderly patients.
Lead author, Dr Seamus Whelton, an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins, stressed this point, emphasising that fitness is the key to good health regardless of age.
“Assessing fitness is a low-cost, low-risk and low-technology tool that is under-utilised in clinical practice for risk stratification,’ he reflected. “This finding emphasises the importance of being fit, even when you’re older.”