In what its authors call “the largest and longest duration randomized trial of physical activity in older persons,” a new study asserts that a carefully structured, moderate physical activity program can reduce risk of losing the ability to walk without assistance.
The Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) trial included 1,635 sedentary men and women aged 70-89 at risk of disability. Participants were randomly assigned to a program of structured, moderate-intensity physical activity or to a health education program focused on topics related to successful aging, and then monitored for 2.6 years. The diverse participants were recruited from urban, suburban, and rural communities across the US. Results are available for free in the May 27th issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.