Consequences of physical inactivity in older adults: A systematic review of reviews and meta‐analyses.
Physically active older adults have reduced risk of mortality, cancer, fractures, falls, disability, cognitive decline, dementia and depression.
Here are some bottom lines:
- Multiple databases were searched for systematic reviews and/or meta‐analyses of longitudinal observational studies, investigating the relationship between physical activity and any physical or mental health outcome in adults aged ≥60 years. Quality of included reviews was assessed using AMSTAR.
- Twenty‐four systematic reviews and meta‐analyses were included. The majority of reviews were of moderate or high methodological quality. Physically active older adults (≥60 years) are at a reduced risk of all‐cause and cardiovascular mortality, breast and prostate cancer, fractures, recurrent falls, ADL disability and functional limitation and cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. They also experience healthier ageing trajectories, better quality of life and improved cognitive functioning.
- This review of reviews provides a comprehensive and systematic overview of epidemiological evidence from previously conducted research to assess the associations of physical activity with physical and mental health outcomes in older adults.
- This review highlights that those older adults who are physically active experience healthier ageing trajectories.
- However, evidence shows that many older adults are not engaging in sufficient levels of physical activity to attain these health benefits. This stage of life represents an important period to promote physical activity to improve functions of daily living and slow progression of disease and disability.
- To unlock the benefits of physical activity, it is imperative that policy and practice support older adults to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity.
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Editor in Chief, PhysicalTherapist.com