The researchers came up with consensus statements based on different themes. These themes included;
- Theme 1: Functional capacity and health
- Theme 2: Brain health and cognitive function
- Theme 3: Behavior change, Intention and habits
In this blog I wanted to share the findings from the most interesting one for me, which was Theme 1: Functional capacity and health.
Here are the key findings:
- “Physically active older adults, compared with older inactive adults, show benefits in terms of physical and cognitive function, intrinsic capacity, mobility, musculoskeletal pain, risk of falls and fractures, depression, quality of life and compression of disability”.
- On the other hand, older adults who are physically inactive have “a trajectory towards disease and increased risk of premature all-cause mortality. The conditions and diseases (and their key risk factors) include metabolic dysfunction, cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer and sarcopenia. Together this translates into increased years of ill health”.
- They also found that it is never too late to start. “In older adults who have not previously been active, evidence shows that multiple physiological systems will be improved by increasing physical activity and undertaking exercise training programmes”.
- If you are physically active earlier in life, you may function better as you get older. “Compared with inactive older adults, lifelong physically active older adults have higher levels of physiological function. This includes the metabolic, skeletal, cardiovascular and immune systems".
- The researchers agreed that “further research is required to determine the precise exercise modality, for example, resistance, balance, flexibility, aerobic exercise, or a combination of modalities, and what durations and intensities of exercise will be required for optimal benefits.”
- This one I liked best “Being physically active is a key factor in maintaining health and in normal functioning of physiological systems across the life-course”.
If you think about it, most of this information is probably well known, but it is great to have it backed up by the 26 researchers and the evidence. The key to take from this blog is that we need to be physically active and the earlier you can start the better.
If you haven’t started but would like to be more physically active, then just do it, as we mentioned above, your body will definitely benefit from it.
In the next blog post I will share some of the other interesting findings from the other themes in the Copenhagen Consensus 2019.
- To read the full statements, follow this link: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/53/14/856.full