Home » A sedentary lifestyle increases fear of falls and feelings of dizziness in nonagenarians

A sedentary lifestyle increases fear of falls and feelings of dizziness in nonagenarians

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A sedentary lifestyle increases fear of falls and feelings of dizziness in nonagenarians

Ten thousand steps and more. Promote more active lifestyles from birth to nursing homes. This is the shocking formula of the sports public policy expert Régis Juanico, in his book-manifesto Let’s move ! (L’Aube-Fondation Jean Jaurès, 146 pages, 16 euros), where this former deputy makes concrete proposals to (re) put all French people in motion.

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But if a lot of efforts are made in this direction for the youngest, it is less obvious for the elderly, and especially the very elderly. What do we know today about their level of physical activity (PA)? How to increase it? These questions are all the more important given that, in many countries, those over 80, or even 90, are the fastest growing population segment. As in other age groups, the benefits of PA are amply demonstrated. She “slows down physiological changes linked to age, improves the health of older people in its three physical, psychological and social dimensions, and contributes to the prevention of chronic pathologies linked to old age”summarizes the High Authority for Health in a 2019 framework. The body highlights in particular the positive effects “in the prevention and treatment of fragility and fall risks”maintaining autonomy, cognition.

With the development of physical activity sensors, it is becoming easier to objectively estimate the number of daily steps in a given population. However, few studies of this nature have been carried out in nonagenarians and older, note Sari Aaltonen (University of Helsinki, Finland) and her colleagues, in an article published on December 6 in PLOS One. They recruited thirty-eight participants from a Finnish cohort of nonagenarians, and fitted them with an accelerometer for a week, except at night.

2,931 steps on average per day

These sensors revealed low daily activity, 2,931 steps on average, and more than 13 hours 30 minutes of sedentary time. The results were comparable in women and men. Daily activity time averaged 111.4 minutes, with 100.7 minutes at low intensity, and only 10.7 minutes at moderate or high intensity. These were mainly periods of activity of less than 3 minutes, interspersed with 20 to 60 minutes of sedentary time. With such scores, we are a long way from the daily recommendations for adults, underline Sari Aaltonen and her team, who specify that only three of the thirty-eight participants reached the threshold of 7,000 steps per day, considered beneficial for health.

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