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5 Dangers of Physical Inactivity in Older Adults

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An increasing amount of research has shown the dangers leading a sedentary lifestyle can have on both physical and mental health. Many seniors aren’t as active as they were when they were younger. Learn the risks of leading a sedentary lifestyle and encourage your senior loved one to get moving for better health. 

1. Worsens Arthritis 

Arthritis is a common condition in the senior years, with an estimated 60 percent of adults over the age of 65 having some form of the disease. Arthritis causes the joints to become inflamed, leading to stiffness, pain, and limited mobility. Though the pain can make movement difficult, it’s important for seniors with arthritis to lead active lifestyles. A study done by researchers at Northwestern University found that seniors with arthritis who led a sedentary lifestyle were more likely to lose the ability to perform basic tasks, which led to a loss of independence. 

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Lincoln Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

2. Increases the Risk of Diabetes 

A 2015 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that leading a sedentary lifestyle increased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 91 percent. Diabetes is a condition that can lead to serious health conditions such as heart disease, blindness, and kidney disease. Getting up and moving every 90 minutes with a short walk can help your loved one build muscle and increase stamina. 

3. Exacerbates Depression 

Clinical depression is common among the older generation. Experts believe this may be due to feelings of loneliness and isolation, health conditions, financial concerns, and side effects of medications. While regular exercise can alleviate depression, a sedentary lifestyle worsens it. Researchers at Deakin University looked at the effects a sedentary lifestyle had on emotional health issues. Five of the nine studies found that not being active worsened depression and anxiety. Swimming and cycling are good exercise options if your loved one needs low-impact exercises, and these activities can be found at a local gym or senior community center. 

4. Increases the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease 

The heart is a muscle. Just like the other muscles in the body, it must be exercised to remain strong. Seniors who lead sedentary lifestyles don’t strengthen their hearts enough. The American Heart Association estimates that 40 percent of heart disease is due to a sedentary lifestyle. If your loved one has mobility issues, he or she can still be active. Look into online exercise courses if your loved one uses a wheelchair. 

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Lincoln, NE, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

5. Decreases Life Span 

Your loved one has lived a rich, full life, and you want him or her to continue to do so for years to come. To live a healthy life in the golden years, it’s important for your loved one to get active. A study done by researchers at the University of Regensburg in Germany found that for every two hours people sat during the day, they increased their risk of developing cancer and reducing their life span by six to eight percent. Encouraging your loved one to walk or hike can boost his or her health.

Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Lincoln seniors can depend on. To learn more about our customized in-home care plans, call us at (402) 261-5158.