Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Inverse effects of midlife occupational, leisure time physical activity on mobility limitation in old age

Date:
April 23, 2014
Source:
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)
Summary:
Strenuous occupational physical activity in midlife increases the risk of mobility limitation in old age, whereas leisure-time physical activity decreases the risk. This is found in a study that followed up 5,200 public sector employees for 28 years. It states that heavy physical labor is often repetitive, wears the body and lasts for several hours a day. On the contrast, leisure-time physical activity is designed to improve fitness and provide recreation and a typical exercise session lasts for one or two hours. Even though both are based on muscle activity and result in energy expenditure, their long-term consequences are different.

Strenuous occupational physical activity in midlife increases the risk of mobility limitation in old age, whereas leisure-time physical activity decreases the risk. This is found in a study which followed up 5,200 public sector employees for 28 years. The study was conducted at the Gerontology Research Center in Finland and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

Heavy physical labor is often repetitive, wears the body and lasts for several hours a day. On the contrast, leisure-time physical activity is designed to improve fitness and provide recreation and a typical exercise session lasts for one or two hours. Even though both are based on muscle activity and result in energy expenditure, their long-term consequences are different.

"A person doing heavy manual work may compensate for its detrimental effects by participating in brisk leisure-time physical activity," says professor Taina Rantanen, the leader of the research group. "Mobility limitation is an important determinant of a person's possibilities to participate in the society and to utilize community amenities. Current policy emphasizes the importance of promoting independent living among older people," Rantanen adds.

Mobility limitation was assessed five times and was based on a person's ability to maintain and change body positions, carry and handle objects and walk and move. The baseline assessment took place in 1981 and the last assessment in 2009. When the results of the first and the last assessments were compared for people who continued in the study through the entire follow-up, the results were almost identical suggesting hardly any decline in mobility. However, when the latest available assessment results of those who died over the follow-up period were compared to their baseline assessment, a clear decline was observed. The unique feature of this study is that the same people were followed up several times over a long period of time. This method helps to better monitor long-term development, which would not be possible if assessments were made only at the beginning and the end of the test period. When only two assessments are available, what happens between them remains unknown.

"In long follow-up studies of older people it is necessary to take into account that some of the participants may die before the study ends. Only the healthiest and strongest participants are available for the follow-up assessments, which may lead to the underestimation of the age-related changes," says Professor Rantanen.

The functional ability in old age is a result of processes which may have started already in midlife -- some of them have supported the health of the person while others may have been detrimental to the health. The current research results suggest that a marked decline in mobility occurs only in the last years of life.

"Based on age only, we are not able to predict the health and mobility of a person. In other words, the distance from birth is a worse predictor of mobility than the distance to death," Rantanen notes. The results were published in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in April 2014. The research was funded by the Academy of Finland.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Timo Hinrichs, Mikaela B. von Bonsdorff, Timo Törmäkangas, Monika E. von Bonsdorff, Jenni Kulmala, Jorma Seitsamo, Clas-Håkan Nygård, Juhani Ilmarinen, Taina Rantanen. Inverse Effects of Midlife Occupational and Leisure Time Physical Activity on Mobility Limitation in Old Age-A 28-Year Prospective Follow-Up Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/jgs.12793

Cite This Page:

Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). "Inverse effects of midlife occupational, leisure time physical activity on mobility limitation in old age." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423101716.htm>.
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). (2014, April 23). Inverse effects of midlife occupational, leisure time physical activity on mobility limitation in old age. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423101716.htm
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). "Inverse effects of midlife occupational, leisure time physical activity on mobility limitation in old age." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423101716.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) 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