Physical activity has higher benefit the older you are
The results of an observational study have been published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. They show that the benefits of physical activity may outweigh the impact of obesity on cardiovascular disease. Data was collected on 5,344 individuals aged between 55 and 97, who were all free from cardiovascular disease at baseline. At the time, information on BMI, physical activity, smoking, alcohol use, diet, and education was taken. Over the course of 15 years the participants were followed and 16% of them suffered a cardiovascular event.
When the data was analysed it was found that physical activity was associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, regardless of what the individual’s BMI was. The results show that physical activity plays a crucial role in the health of middle aged and elderly people and is protective against the harmful effects of overweight and obesity. As the participants were all taken from The Rotterdam Study there were already parameters set for ‘low’ and ‘high’ amounts of physical activity, this was translated to two and four hours of daily activity – which itself included anything from biking to housework. The researchers hope to show that any physical activity is beneficial in terms of cardiovascular risk, even in those that are already normal weight or elderly.