Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Maintaining mobility in older age

Date:
December 7, 2010
Source:
Economic & Social Research Council
Summary:
A new study examines the relationship between successful aging and mobility patterns. While maintaining mobility plays a significant part in healthy aging, a new study highlights a high degree of inactivity even among an "elite" sample of fit and healthy older people aged between 72 and 92 years.

A study by the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme, a joint initiative by Research Council's UK, examines the relationship between successful aging and mobility patterns. While maintaining mobility plays a significant part in healthy aging, a new study highlights a high degree of inactivity even among an "elite" sample of fit and healthy older people aged between 72 and 92 years.

"Mobility is hugely important in terms of older people being able to remain independent," explains Dr Lynn McInnes. "Reduced mobility can restrict a person's social life as well as limiting their access to shops, leisure and other activities. People fear not being able to look after themselves and being a burden on others. Often a cause of this dependence is a decline in mobility."

The study used innovative methods, such as location awareness technologies for mapping the mobility of the oldest-old members (75 years and over) of an existing 25-year longitudinal study of ageing.

The daily mobility activities of a fairly active group of people showed that 70 per cent of the day is spent sitting or lying, 22 per cent of the day standing and seven per cent of the day walking. The furthest distance travelled from their home is on average four miles, or approximately 23 miles in a single week, spread over five journeys per week. As much as 78 per cent of the day is spent indoors and 14 per cent of the day is spent on outdoor activities.

Evidence suggests that sitting most of the time is an important factor to take into account when looking at patterns of behaviour. The daily life of a person includes a combination of active, non-active or brief activities. These patterns suggest that changes occur as people age and starting an activity may be harder later in the day.

Lead researcher Dr McInnes points out: "New methods are needed to examine how much activity an individual does throughout a day. Monitoring activity levels by using tracking devices will help to assess the mobility ability of older people. Additionally, monitoring health and well-being can help identify individuals who may be at risk."

In addition these findings highlight the importance of providing effective transport networks and a good range of local services to meet older people's needs," Dr McInnes explains. "Being able to stay mobile is crucial to older people's wellbeing, as loss of mobility means the loss of so many other things from their lives such as the ability to go shopping, meet friends and pursue hobbies and interests."

This project has helped to establish a reliable mobility profile of the oldest-old members of society by determining where individuals go and how active they are in the process and shows there is a clear relationship between mobility, health and well-being. It is encouraging to know that old age is not necessarily a time of ill health, a decline in thought processes or becoming a burden. Participants in this study exemplified 'successful ageing'.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Economic & Social Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Economic & Social Research Council. "Maintaining mobility in older age." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207205230.htm>.
Economic & Social Research Council. (2010, December 7). Maintaining mobility in older age. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207205230.htm
Economic & Social Research Council. "Maintaining mobility in older age." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207205230.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) After the announcement that the first U.S. patient had been diagnosed with Ebola, doctors were quick to say a U.S. outbreak is highly unlikely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Medical officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirm they are treating a patient with the Ebola virus, the first case found in the US. (Sept. 30 Video provided by AP
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