Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Any Physical Activity, At Any Age, Is Better Than Remaining Sedentary

Date:
December 5, 2000
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
The new year awaits, but many senior citizens, along with their younger counterparts, have given up on any resolution to start an exercise program. But any physical activity is better than none, at any age, even if it doesn’t fit common notions of exercise, says a University of Illinois professor and leading advocate for efforts to encourage “active aging.”

The new year awaits, but many senior citizens, along with their younger counterparts, have given up on any resolution to start an exercise program. Or maybe they gave up years ago, intimidated by what they thought was required, and now assume it’s too late.

Related Articles


But any physical activity is better than none, at any age, even if it doesn’t fit common notions of exercise, says a University of Illinois professor and leading advocate for efforts to encourage “active aging.”

It’s important to “choose an activity that you will do,” rather than just wishing to do something more ambitious, says Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko [VOY-tek HODGE-koh–ZYE-koh], head of the UI kinesiology department and chair of the national Active Aging Partnership, established by the American College of Sports Medicine. “It really matters less exactly what you do than it matters to avoid being completely sedentary,” he said.

Only about 15 percent of adults over 65 get a recommended level of physical activity, based on a 1996 report from the U.S. Surgeon General, and as many as one-third get none at all, Chodzko-Zajko noted in an article for the November issue of the journal Quest, titled “Successful Aging in the New Millennium: The Role of Regular Physical Activity.”

“Part of the problem,” he said in an interview, “may be that we’ve adopted a medical model of exercise, where exercise is sort of a bitter pill, and you get a prescription and you’re expected to stick to it … But the bottom line is it takes time to change behavior, and I personally feel the broader you can define your activity program, the less likely you are to become demoralized.”

Chodzko-Zajko suggests that some people might benefit from strategies such as keeping a diary of all their physical activity, including even things like short walks to the store or working in the garden. “It will motivate you to avoid days in which you have nothing to write down.” Another simple strategy he said he liked, heard from a well-respected academic, was “buy a dog.”

“We used to think in terms of physical activity as traditional exercise, but now we realize that physical activity can be gained from a large number of different activities,” Chodzko-Zajko said. And once people get started, they gradually can increase the intensity and duration at their own rate.

In his Quest article, however, Chodzko-Zajko argues that more research is needed on what motivates seniors to be physically active. Part of the answer may lie in finding ways to integrate physical activity with other important needs, as part of the same program or in the same facility.

“In order to age successfully, older persons will need to be not only physically active, but also socially, intellectually, culturally, and (for many seniors) spiritually active,” he wrote. “One of the challenges for our profession in the new millennium will be to learn how to integrate physical activity into the wider social, cultural, and economic context of active aging as a whole.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Any Physical Activity, At Any Age, Is Better Than Remaining Sedentary." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/12/001204071939.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (2000, December 5). Any Physical Activity, At Any Age, Is Better Than Remaining Sedentary. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/12/001204071939.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Any Physical Activity, At Any Age, Is Better Than Remaining Sedentary." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/12/001204071939.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins