Want to be healthy well into old age? Time to start exercising now!
It unfortunately appears to now be common knowledge that fall risk and rates tend to simultaneously climb with increasing age, primarily affecting a population aged 80+. Falls can lead to serious injury that can dramatically impact mobility and independence. Now research is turning to prevention to attempt to find variables that can curb fall risk.
The 90+ Study from Paganini-Hill et al. (2017) determined that there is a lower likelihood of falling in persons aged 90+ among individuals who reported 30+ minutes/day of active exercise in their 60–70s. Fall prevention doesn’t just start in the elderly population! With the continued push for health and wellness to combat chronic disease, we can now add in another variable to also combat fall risk. This is yet another reason to add to the laundry list of benefits of physical activity and exercise. It was deemed that “exercise appears to be the most cost-effective intervention in the elderly” as well which should perk the ears of so many people outside of those with direct involvement with healthcare including family members and caregivers!
Promoting physical activity at all ages is extremely important in order to reap all health benefits and to sustain a healthy lifestyle well into old age. Many people still continue to think that as they age, it is normal for function to decline and independence to fade. From experience as a physical therapist, this is NOT the case. Age is simply a number, there are so many people out there well into their 90s and still living on their own and able to do some amazing things.
The Senior Rehab Project was created by Dustin Jones and is a large force of rehab professionals (primarily physical and occupational therapists), created to challenge these exact stereotypes. The main focus of the group is to combat ageism and prove that age does not have to be a limiting factor to function. They are attempting to create a wave to empower older adults and also address and promote evidenced based practice for clinicians when treating older patients. The baby boomer population is growing exponentially which creates a very large opportunity to continue to influence quality of life and promote maintained independence. If you’re looking to join in this movement and be a part of the tribe that is changing the face of geriatric rehab, go to www.seniorrehabproject.com or follow on twitter @seniorrehab, you won’t regret it.
Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio, @Eric_in_AmERICa, @AaronPerezPT, @DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!
- WW Crew