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Sitting still for the majority of the day can make you age more quickly, new research has revealed.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of California San Diego looked at the exercise habits of nearly 1,500 women aged between 64 and 95 to see what impact their activity levels had on their health.
They concluded that sitting for more than ten hours a day and doing less than 40 minutes of vigorous to moderate exercise each day makes the cells age more quickly. In fact, the study suggests that those who do little or no activity are biologically eight years older than their counterparts who exercise regularly.
As well as making your cells age, this can also have an effect on your health, including increasing your risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and a number of cancers.
Lead author of the study within the university’s Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Aladdin Shadyab commented: “Discussions about the benefits of exercise should start when we are young, and physical activity should continue to be part of our daily lives as we get older, even at 80 years old.”
Speaking to the Telegraph, executive director of UK Active Steven Ward explained that being more active doesn’t have to mean getting into sports. Taking simple steps such as carrying groceries, walking to the shops and spending time out in the garden can all be beneficial, he said.
He also suggested that care homes should introduce activity plans to help their residents become more active and to encourage them to form new friendships.
This could be especially beneficial for those who have moved to a complex for independent living with on-site care in Staffordshire, or elsewhere. And with Age UK revealing that 1.2 million elderly people in the UK suffer from chronic loneliness, group activities could help people feel healthier in more ways than one.