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HHS HealthBeat (June 18, 2014)

Light exercise, less disability

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates middle age and older adults might lower their risk of disability with light physical activity like walking in a mall.

At Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Dorothy Dunlop saw this in 1,680 people ages 49 to 83 with knee osteoarthritis or indications they might get it. None were disabled at the start; all wore devices that recorded their movement.

After two years, 149 could no longer perform some basic activities of daily living by themselves. But Dunlop says:

“The more time that adults spent in light activity, the less frequently their developed disability.”

The study in the British journal BMJ was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: June 18, 2014