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A short walk can go a long way for older adults’ health, researchers say


Photo: eyecrave productions/iStockphoto

A 10-minute walk every day may help older adults live longer and lower their risk of heart failure, results of a recent study out of South Korea suggest.

Using data from more than 7,000 people 85 and older in Korea, researchers looked at the links between walking, death from all causes and death from cardiovascular disease. Compared with the participants who were inactive, people who walked at least an hour every week had a 40% lower risk of dying from any cause, and a 39% lower risk of death caused by heart failure.

“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,” study author Moo-Nyun Jin said. “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.”

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