You can now prevent disability in your old age by being proactive when you are young. A new study found just one hour a week of brisk walking can help prevent disability in elderly, especially those suffering from arthritis pain, aching or stiffness in their knees, hips, ankles or feet.
The study done by researchers at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine says that an hour of weekly moderate-to-vigorous physical activity could allow older adults to maintain their ability to perform daily tasks like having a bath, getting dressed, or even crossing a street safely.
Published on Monday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine goes on to say the risk of mobility disability is reduced by 85 percent and their risk of activities of daily living disability by almost 45 percent by just an hour of exercise.
The study analyzed data from more than 1,500 adults in the national Osteoarthritis Initiative from Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
All of these adults suffered from aching, stiffness and pain in the lower extremity joint from but were free of disability when they joined the study. Their physical activity was monitored by accelerometers.
The study went on for a period of 4 years during which people who didn’t get the minimum threshold of exercise were eight times more likely to have a mobility disability, and almost twice as likely to have a daily living disability than those who did.
The lead author Dorothy Dunlop, a professor of preventive medicine at the school said, “Our goal was to see what kind of activity would help people remain free of disability,” He added, “We hope this new public health finding will motivate an intermediate physical activity goal. One hour a week is a stepping stone for people who are currently inactive. People can start to work toward that.”