SITTING too long is worse for older people because their muscles waste away faster than younger 'couch potatoes', according to new research. Exercise for the elderly is critical.
A lack of exercise takes a large toll on elderly people's health, increasing the risk of strokes.
Scientists have shown how lack of exercise takes a much bigger toll on the elderly - in particular, reducing the power of the muscles in their legs.
That power is essential for movements such as climbing the stairs - increasing their risk of lack of independence, and isolation, a major cause of premature death.
The study documents for the first time that inactivity has a greater and more severe impact on the muscles of the lower limbs in pensioners than young people who are sedentary for exactly the same period.
It follows research last year suggesting even modest levels of exercise can help stave off heart attacks and strokes among the elderly. Elderly people who do even a small amount of exercise have a 14% lower chance of heart attacks.
The disuse of muscles due to a sedentary lifestyle or short periods of inactivity caused by hospitalization can dramatically enhance the decline in muscle mass, metabolic health and functional capacity.
Researchers found that such a loss of muscle power caused by disuse can be especially detrimental in the elderly.
The study, published in The Journal of Physiology, analysed the affect of complete inactivity elderly subjects that were bedridden in a hospital environment for 2 weeks. Their results were compared with young subjects.
In the former group there was a difference in the response of individual muscle fibres to disuse - an inidcation of loss of power and fatigue.
Bottom Line- A lack of exercise in the elderly can enhance the decline of muscle mass and metabolic health.
Chair exercise is a form of sitting that is GOOD for you, and it's a safe and easy way to begin a more active and healthy lifestyle.
Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise DVD Video