Better mobility keeps seniors healthier

Aug 09, 2007

As people lose the ability to walk unaided, they tend to suffer further deterioration that can interfere with other daily living activities. As the U.S. population ages, it becomes increasingly important to identify and target interventions for those people who are at risk for further disabilities and illness.

In a paper published in the September issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers closely examined the factors that affected Health-Related Quality-of-Life for a group of older Americans. The study revealed that mobility is a key factor impacting quality of life for older adults.

Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders–Pilot study (LIFE–P) was a randomized, controlled trial that compared a physical activity intervention to a non-exercise educational intervention with 424 older adults at risk for disability. Baseline information included demographics, medical history, the Quality of Well-Being Scale (QWB-SA), a timed 400 m walk, and the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). Using these data, the authors looked for those factors that affected HRQOL.

The mean QWB-SA score for a sample of older adults considered at risk for disability was 0.634, below the 0.704 score found for healthy older adults. According to Erik J. Groessl, PhD, of the VA San Diego Healthcare System and University of California San Diego, the difference of 0.070 is “more than the amount attributed to a variety of diseases including colitis, migraine, arthritis, stroke, ulcer, asthma, and anxiety.

Surprisingly, however, mobility was a stronger correlate of HRQOL than an index of comorbidity, suggesting that interventions addressing mobility limitations may provide significant health benefits to this population. …Taken together with past research, which has demonstrated that loss of mobility predicts loss of independence, mortality, and nursing home admission, it is clear that interventions that can preserve or improve mobility in older adults could produce increases in both quantity and quality of life.”

Source: Elsevier Health Sciences

Explore further: Reducing global tobacco use

Related Stories

Analyzing living cells quickly and accurately

Apr 02, 2014

In order to investigate inflammation, tumors or stem cells, medical practitioners analyze living cells. Non-invasive optical procedures such as Raman spectroscopy accelerate this procedure. Researchers have ...

Up in arms

Jan 28, 2014

In December 2012, when Adam Lanza stormed into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., with a rifle and killed 20 children and six adult staff members, the United States found itself immersed ...

Emerging ethical dilemmas in science and technology

Dec 10, 2013

As a new year approaches, the University of Notre Dame's John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values has released its annual list of emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and ...

Recommended for you

UK doctors unlikely to be able to repay student loans

10 hours ago

UK doctors are unlikely to be able to repay their student loans over the course of their working lives, amassing debts of more than £80,000 by the time they graduate, in some cases, finds research published in the online ...

Reducing global tobacco use

17 hours ago

Although global efforts to cut tobacco use have had some success, more can be done to reduce the number of deaths from smoking, according to a commentary published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.