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Exercise Aging Anti-Aging Anti-Aging Research Science

Physical Activity Boosts Quality Of Life While Aging

1 month ago

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Posted on May 09, 2024, 5 p.m.

According to a recent longitudinal study published in PLOS Medicine from the University of Sydney measuring physical activity at more than one-time point, examining the long-term-causal effects of exercise, adherence to physical activity guidelines throughout middle age is associated with a higher health-related quality of life in women.

For this study, data was collected at three-year intervals beginning in 1996 from 11,336 participants born between 1946 and 1951 who were enrolled in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Participants were classified as either meeting current guidelines of 150 minutes per week of physical activity consistently throughout the 15-year period, not initially meeting the guidelines but starting to meet them at age 50, 60, or 65, or as never meeting the guidelines. Participants' health-related quality of life was assessed using the physical health composite score (PCS) and mental health composite score (MCS) from the Short Form 36 Health Survey, which includes 36 questions about functional health and well-being. 

According to the researchers, while there was no significant association between physical activity and MSC, compared to those who did not meet the physical activity guideline, those meeting the physical activity guidelines, and those starting to meet the guidelines had a three-point higher PCS (46.93 [95% CI 46.32 to 47.54] and 46.96 [95% CI 45.53 to 48.40], respectively), and the effects were still significant even after controlling for several factors including socioeconomic factors and pre-existing health diagnoses.

"Combined with existing evidence, this study contributes to growing evidence of the benefits of maintaining or adopting an active lifestyle in mid-age," the authors say. "An important public health message is that being active for as many years as possible, even if women start to meet physical activity guidelines in their mid-50s, could have important health benefits in terms of physical health, especially in physical functioning."

"Our study shows that it's important for women to be active throughout mid-age to gain the most benefits for physical health in later life. Ideally, women should increase their activity levels to meet the guidelines by age 55."

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

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