Friday September 20, 2019

Brisk Walking May Prevent Disability in Older Adults, Says Study

We hope this new public health finding will motivate an intermediate physical activity goal

0
//
A man walking with a walker; Source: Wikimedia

Just one hour a week of brisk walking may prevent disability in older adults with arthritis pain, or aching or stiffness in the knee, hip, ankle or foot, a new study suggests.

The findings suggested that an hour of weekly moderate-to-vigorous physical activity allowed older adults to maintain their ability to perform daily tasks like getting dressed or cross a street before a traffic light walk signal changed.

“This is less than 10 minutes a day for people to maintain their independence. It’s very doable,” said lead author Dorothy Dunlop, Professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the US.

“This minimum threshold may motivate inactive older adults to begin their path toward a physically active lifestyle with the wide range of health benefits promoted by physical activity,” Dunlop added.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the researchers analyzed four years of data from more than 1,500 adults.

A couple walking. Pixabay

The adults all had pain, aching or stiffness in lower extremity joints from osteoarthritis but were free of disability when they began the study. Their physical activity was monitored using accelerometers.

The team found that the weekly hour of exercise reduced their risk of mobility disability by 85 per cent and their risk of activities of daily living disability by almost 45 per cent.

Four years after the start of the study, 24 per cent of adults who did not get the weekly hour of brisk physical activity were walking too slowly to safely cross the street, and 23 per cent reported problems performing their morning routine.

Also Read- Engineers Develop Novel Wearable Device That Grabs Cancer Cells From Blood

“Our goal was to see what kind of activity would help people remain free of disability,” the lead author said.

“We hope this new public health finding will motivate an intermediate physical activity goal.” (IANS)

Next Story

Self-driving Cars Can be a Potential Game-changer for Older Adults: Researchers

It was also found that older drivers tended to exhibit worse takeover quality in terms of operating the steering wheel, the accelerator and the brake, increasing the risk of an accident, Li added

0
Google's self-driving car. Flickr

Self-driving cars can be a potential game-changer for older adults aged above 60 and can help in minimizing the risk of accidents, say, researchers.

“There are several levels of automation, ranging from zero where the driver has complete control, through to level five where the car is in charge… this will allow the driver to be completely disengaged, they can sit back and watch a film, eat, even talk on the phone,” said Shuo Li from the Newcastle University in the UK.

“But, unlike level four or five, there are still some situations where the car would ask the driver to take back control and at that point, they need to be back in driving mode within a few seconds,” Li said.

For the study published in the journal Transportation Research, the researchers examined 76 volunteers, divided into two age groups (20-35 and 60-81), and studied the time it takes for older drivers to take back control of an automated car in different scenarios and also the quality of their driving in these different situations.

They experienced automated driving for a short period and were then asked to take back control of a highly automated car and avoid a stationary vehicle.

Uber, bengaluru
Toyota Motor Corp. recently invested $500 million in working with Uber on self-driving technology for the ride-hailing service.

It was found that in clear conditions, the quality of driving was good but the reaction time of older volunteers was significantly slower than the younger drivers. It took older drivers about 8.3 seconds to negotiate obstacles compared to around 7 seconds for the younger age group.

“At 60mph, that means older drivers would have needed an extra 35m warning distance – that’s equivalent to the length of 10 cars,” said Li.

Also Read: Ease in Local Sourcing Norms Big Boost for Firms Like Apple

It was also found that older drivers tended to exhibit worse takeover quality in terms of operating the steering wheel, the accelerator and the brake, increasing the risk of an accident, Li added.

The researchers concluded that fully automated cars which are unlikely to require a license and could negotiate bad weather and unfamiliar cities under all situations without input from the driver can be a potential game-changer for older adults and help in avoiding accidents. (IANS)