You want blunt? The US Department of Health and Human Services can do blunt—at least when it comes to physical activity (PA) recommendations for Americans.
“Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day,” HHS says in its latest edition of nationwide guidelines for PA. “Some physical activity is better than none.”
That’s the bottom-line recommendation that HHS rolled out this week in its revised Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. And there’s arguably little room for nuance: according to HHS, 80% of all Americans are not meeting current PA recommendations, a failure that is contributing the prevalence of a host of chronic health conditions.
The new guidelines, with their emphasis on the importance of movement to prevent disease and extend life no matter an individual’s age, echo many perspectives long-championed by APTA and its members.
In a nutshell previous studies have demonstrated an association between low grip strength and poor health outcomes (in other words increased mortality). On the whole previous studies have had too small sample sizes to detect disease specific mortality and have been unable to clearly show relationship with age. The Biobank study has an adequate number of participants, some 500,000, to be able to detect disease and age specific nuances in this relationship.
Some serious math too place in the analysis of the study’s findings and I’m not the one to talk you through the finer details. In essence lower grip strength was strongly associated with adverse health outcomes. This was consistent between gender and remained robust after adjustment for socioeconomic factors. Compared to other commonly used tools grip strength is arguably as reliable as systolic BP and low levels of physical activity to predict a person’s poor overall health.
Better, but still plenty of room for improvement—that’s the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) take on a recent analysis of the rate at which health care providers are counseling patients with arthritis to engage in physical activity (PA). The good news: the percentage of individuals with arthritis who received provider counseling for exercise grew by 17.6% between 2002 and 2014. The bad news: even after that growth, nearly 4 in 10 patients with arthritis still aren’t receiving any information from their providers on the benefits of PA.
The CDC analysis, which appeared in a recent edition of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, uses data from the National Health Interview Survey gathered in 2002 and 2014. In those years, the survey included a question on whether respondents had been told they have “arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia,” as well as a question asking whether “a doctor or other health professional [has] ever suggested physical activity or exercise to help your arthritis or joint symptoms?”
It’s no secret that physical activity (PA) can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in middle-aged adults, but researchers in England have found that the relationship also applies to the elderly, and that even small amounts of PA can markedly lower the chances of CVD hospitalization and death in this age group.
Researchers used data from the EPIC study, a 10-country prospective population study, to track CVD-related hospitalizations and deaths among 24,502 participants, aged 39-79 years, and compare those with participants’ self-reported PA. This isn’t the first study of its kind, but authors believe it is notable because of its focus on participants 65 and older, and its 18-year median follow-up duration—a relatively long time span that allowed researchers to follow some participants into old age. Findings were published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about equally active as other people your age?
Your answer might be linked to your risk of premature death decades from now — no matter how physically active you actually are, according to research by Stanford scholars Octavia Zahrt and Alia Crum.
The research, appearing July 20 in Health Psychology, finds that people who think they are less active than others in a similar age bracket die younger than those who believe they are more active — even if their actual activity levels are similar.
The connection between physical activity (PA) and the slowing or prevention of cognitive decline in the elderly has been widely recognized, but an explanation of just how PA works on the brain’s chemistry has been more elusive. Now researchers in Germany believe they’ve isolated a chemical marker that helps identify PA’s neuroprotective effects.
The research project itself was fairly straightforward: split 53 cognitively healthy individuals 65 and older into 2 groups—the first of which received 3 half-hour supervised cycle training sessions per week for 12 weeks, and the second of which did not increase their PA—and then measure a host of factors associated with cognitive decline at the beginning and end of the 12-week training program. Researchers didn’t limit their investigation to chemical markers but also included evaluations of gray matter volume and cognitive performance tests. Results were published in Translational Psychiatry.
Most of us know that physical activity is good for us. But a new study shows that a chronic lack of physical activity can drastically increase the chance of developing cancer in the bladder and kidneys, and it suggests that engaging in more physical activity may reduce this risk.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that, every year, almost 57,000 adults have kidney and renal pelvis cancers in the United States. Additionally, almost 14,000 people per year die from these cancers.
Bladder cancer is also widespread. According to the CDC, around 71,000 U.S. individuals developed bladder cancer in 2013, and almost 16,000 people died as a result.
A Canadian study published in JAMA turns the current thinking on postconcussion physical activity on its head. According to researchers, early return to physical activity within 1 week of concussion may actually decrease the likelihood of persistent symptoms in the pediatric population.
The prospective cohort study included 2,413 children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 18 years. At 7 days and at 28 days postinjury, participants filled out questionnaires about their physical activity and rated their postconcussion symptoms using the Post-Concussion Symptom Inventory. Of the respondents, 30.5% rested for the first 7 days, and 69.5% participated in some sort of physical activity, including light aerobic exercise, sport-specific exercise, noncontact drills, full-contact practice, or full competition.