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Over-85s ‘should walk 10 minutes a day to prolong life’

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ctogenarians should try and go for a 10 minute walk each day to lengthen life, according to a new study.

Researchers found that over-85s live longer if they walk for at least one hour a week.

New research, presented to the European Society of Cardiology conference in Barcelona, saw academics analyse data on more than 7,000 Korean adults over the age of 85.

Researchers obtained information on the participants’ physical activity levels between 2009 and 2014.

Identifying the minimum amount of exercise that can benefit the oldest old is an important goal since recommended activity levels can be difficult to achieve.

Some 58% did no walking, 8.5% walked less than one hour per week, 12% walked one to two hours, 8.7% walked two to three hours, and 13.3% walked more than three hours per week.

Just 7.6% met the guideline recommendations for moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity.

Those who walked at least one hour per week had up to 40% lower risk of death compared to those who were inactive, researchers found.

“Adults are less likely to meet activity recommendations as they get older,” said study author Dr Moo-Nyun Jin of Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital in Seoul, Korea.

“Our study suggests that walking at least one hour every week is beneficial for people aged 85 years and older. Put simply, walk for 10 minutes every day.

“Walking was linked with a lower likelihood of dying in older adults, regardless of whether or not they did any moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity.

“Identifying the minimum amount of exercise that can benefit the oldest old is an important goal since recommended activity levels can be difficult to achieve.

“Our study indicates that walking even just one hour every week is advantageous to those aged 85 years and older compared to being completely inactive. The take home message is to keep walking throughout life.”

For anyone who isn’t mobile, chair-based exercises that can be completed at home can also be beneficial

Commenting on the study, Chloe MacArthur, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We know that regular physical activity is good for us at any age as it helps to maintain a healthy weight and reduces your risk of developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

“These are vital to reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, and improve your quality of life.

“It’s never too late to get active. Start small and try to incorporate more movement in your day to day life, whether that is doing the housework, gardening or popping out for a quick stroll.

“For anyone who isn’t mobile, chair-based exercises that can be completed at home can also be beneficial. You’ll find that those active minutes soon start to add up.”

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