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Articles October 2014 Issue

Walking and Other Physical Activities Reduce Disability Risk

Seniors on the edge of frailty actually benefit most.

One of the largest and longest-running studies of its kind reports that older adults can improve their chances of being able to keep moving later in life by getting going now. The Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) trial involved 1,635 sedentary men and women, ages 70 to 89, at eight universities and research centers across the country, including Tufts. Those randomly assigned to an exercise program were significantly less likely to become disabled over 2.6 years than those in a control group. The difference was observed in both short-term, acute disability risk and in long-term, chronic disability.

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