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Risk Of Disability Soars For Elderly Who Are Sedentary

February 19, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study finds that every hour after 12 hours that an elderly person spends sitting doubles the risk of becoming disabled, no matter how much time is spent exercising. The study focused on 2,286 adults aged 60 and older, comparing those in similar health with the same amount of moderate vigorous activity (e.g., walking briskly). Being sedentary turned out to be almost as strong a risk factor for disability as lack of moderate vigorous activity. More than 56 million Americans are considered disabled because they have limited ability to do basic activities such as eating, dressing or bathing oneself. Overall, hospitalization of disabled persons accounts for 25 percent of the national cost of health care.
Dorothy Dunlop et al., "Sedentary Time in U.S. Older Adults Associated With Disability in Activities of Daily Living Independent of Physical Activity", Journal of Physical Activity and Health, February 19, 2014, © Human Kinetics, Inc.
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