Keep on going: busy seniors live longer, more proof that it pays to stay active.Elderly people who bustle bus·tle 1
intr. & tr.v. bus·tled, bus·tling, bus·tles
To move or cause to move energetically and busily.
Excited and often noisy activity; a stir. around the house, spend much time on their feet, climb stairs, and hold down jobs might be buying themselves precious years of life.
In a new study, researchers used a precise measure of calorie calorie, abbr. cal, unit of heat energy in the metric system. The measurement of heat is called calorimetry. The calorie, or gram calorie, is the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of pure water 1°C;. burning to assess activity. A total of 302 people, ages 70 to 82, completed questionnaires regarding their daily activities. All the volunteers got around without help, and none lived in an assisted-care facility or had been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
Each volunteer was given water containing a harmless, easily traced isotope isotope (ī`sətōp), in chemistry and physics, one of two or more atoms having the same atomic number but differing in atomic weight and mass number. The concept of isotope was introduced by F. of oxygen. By measuring this isotope in the carbon dioxide carbon dioxide, chemical compound, CO2, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is about one and one-half times as dense as air under ordinary conditions of temperature and pressure. in each participant's urine, the researchers calculated how many calories that person burned during a 2-week period in which they went about their normal activities, says study coauthor Todd M. MANN, a physiologist at the National Institute on Aging The National Institute on Aging is a division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, located in Bethesda, Maryland.
Formed in 1974, NIA's mission is to improve the health and well-being of older Americans through research. It is the primary U.S. in Bethesda, Md.
The researchers used this information to divide the volunteers into high-, medium-, and low-activity subgroups. They then kept tabs on the participants for 6 years.
Over that period, 55 of the volunteers died. Those deaths included nearly 25 percent of the people in the most sedentary sedentary /sed·en·tary/ (sed´en-tar?e)
1. sitting habitually; of inactive habits.
2. pertaining to a sitting posture.
of inactive habits; pertaining to a fat, castrated or confined animal. group, 18 percent of the medium-activity group, and 12 percent of the most active group, the researchers report in the July 12 Journal of the American-Medical Association. When the researchers took into account each person's base metabolic rate Noun 1. metabolic rate - rate of metabolism; the amount of energy expended in a give period
basal metabolic rate, BMR - the rate at which heat is produced by an individual in a resting state and other factors such as weight, age, gender, race, and smoking status, the correlation between greater activity and survival was even stronger.
Every additional 287 calories burned per day lowered a person's risk of death by one-third, Manini says. By comparison, a 155-pound person walking 3 miles in an hour burns about 250 calories.
"There's a difference between small activities and inactivity," Manini says. "Any movement is better than no movement."
"This is the first study that uses objective measures of activity related to energy expenditure to show that more-active older adults have lower mortality rates," says physiologist Gary R. Hunter of the University of Alabama at Birmingham UAB began in 1936 as the Birmingham Extension Center of the University of Alabama. Because of the rapid growth of the Birmingham area, it was decided that an extension program for students who had difficulties which prevented them from studying in Tuscaloosa was needed. .
The people burning the most calories weren't necessarily maintaining scheduled exercise or walking regimens. Such routines were equally distributed across the three subgroups.
Rather, the most active people found other ways to stay mobile. For example, they were more likely than the others to have paying jobs and to climb steps regularly.
"This gives us one more very compelling argument for maintaining high levels of physical activity across the life span," Hunter concludes.