In This Article
May 16, 2023; Unhurry Expert Research Team
Older adults and older cancer survivors, who engage in more physical exercise and spend less time sitting down have better overall physical and mental health, according to a recent study.
This new study from the American Cancer Society, suggests that higher amounts of regular moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) and lower duration of sedentary time is associated with mental and physical health across the globe for older cancer survivors and older adults, in general.
The study was published in the journal, CANCER.
How physical activity is linked to health benefits?
There is a need to establish methods related to healthy ageing and increasing quality of life for ageing cancer survivors because of the United States’ growing ageing population and its roughly 16.9 million cancer survivors.
Physical activity has been linked to numerous health benefits, and in this study, ACS researchers under the direction of Dr. Erika Rees-Punia examined self-reported sitting time, aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity, and mental and physical health among nearly 78,000 participants in the ACS’s Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort.
Adults without cancer and older cancer survivors up to 10 years post-diagnosis made comprised the participants (average age 78).
How does regular Moderate to vigorous activity improve the quality of life?
The researchers discovered that the differences in overall mental and physical health between the most and least active, and the least and most sedentary, were clinically significant regardless of cancer history.
These results support the need for regular MVPA and a reduction in sitting time as an acceptable non-pharmacologic therapy to enhance the quality of life in older men and women, with or without a history of cancer.
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In fact, the recently released ACS physical activity guidelines advise limiting sedentary behaviours like screen-based entertainment and encouraging people to engage in 150–300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity or 75–150 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity.
“The findings reinforce the importance of moving more and sitting less for both physical and mental health, no matter your age or history of cancer,” said Rees-Punia.
“This is especially relevant now as so many of us, particularly cancer survivors, may be staying home to avoid COVID-19 exposure, and may be feeling a little isolated or down.
A simple walk or other physical activity that you enjoy may be good for your mind and body.”
Materials provided by American Cancer Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Rees-Punia E, Patel AV, Nocera JR, Chantaprasopsuk S, Demark-Wahnefried W, Leach CR, Smith TG, Cella D, Gapstur SM. Self-Reported Physical Activity, Sitting Time, and Mental and Physical Health Among Older Cancer Survivors Compared to Adults Without a History of Cancer, 2020. CANCER; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.33257.. Cancer, 2020 DOI: 10.1002/cncr.33257
American Cancer Society. “Study shows active older adults have better physical and mental health.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201020081740.htm>.
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