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This good habit, adopted once a week, could extend the lifespan of elderly people

  • May 2, 2024
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How to improve life expectancy? Many researchers have looked into the question. Last January, researchers noted that regular consumption of tea would make it possible to reduce the acceleration of biological age. In April, British researchers believed that a healthy lifestyle would reduce the risk of premature death.

More recently, researchers from Monash University in Scotland looked into a habit of seniors. They noticed that for people aged 75, walking at least once a week could help them live longer. Their results are published in the journal BMJ Public Health.

Walking for trips could reduce the risk of mortality

To arrive at these results, the researchers based themselves on data from the “ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly Longitudinal Study of Older Persons” study. In total, this represented a panel of 11,539 people with an average age of 75 and in good health. The latter had to declare their frequency of walking related to transport ranging from “never” to “every day”. Follow-up took place over an average of just over 8 years.

Over the period analyzed, researchers noted 1,599 deaths, or 13.9% of participants. In total, the experts noted that 44% of participants reported walking every day, 31% reported walking more than once a week, 22% reported walking rarely, and 3% reported never walking.

The authors found that “Compared to those who reported never walking for transportation, the risk of all-cause mortality was lower for those who walked rarely or once a week.” The researchers specify that for people aged 75, “the fact to walk to move at least once a week was associated with a risk of all-cause mortality reduced by approximately 25% compared to not walking to get around.

Aging: walking would improve balance and prevent falls

In a press release, researcher Shivangi Shah, first author of the study and doctoral student at Monash University, recalls that “developing muscle strength and bone health throughphysical activity is especially important as we age to improve our balance and prevent falls”before adding that the results of this study “suggest that walking as a means of transportation will have beneficial effects on the health of older people.”

According to Danijela Gasevic, professor in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, “Walking and physical activity in general are very important for our health and well-being, have environmental and economic benefits and can help build social and community connections.” But for this mode of transport to remain accessible to all seniors, she recalls the importance of putting in place sufficient infrastructure and leading government campaigns to promote healthy lifestyles.

Sources :

  • Walking for transport at least once a week may help some older people live longer: study – Monash University-led research
  • Walking for transport and all-cause mortality: a prospective cohort study of Australian community-dwelling older adults – BMJ Public Health
author avatar
Louis Tardy