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Exercise key to mental and physical health

Exercise key to mental and physical health
5th April 2012

A new study has revealed that exercise is key to both the mental and physical health of older adults.

Researchers from the University of Western Sydney found that over 65s who experience psychological distress are over four times more likely to experience functional limitation than those who do not.

However, this can be negated by engaging in exercise and remaining active, Dr Gregory Kolt, researcher on the study, explained.

After analysing data on nearly 100,000 Australian men and women over the age of 65, it was identified that older adults who experienced a moderate level of psychological distress are the most likely group to experience a functional limitation.

A corresponding study then revealed that approximately 30 per cent of reductions in physical activity and increases in psychological distress are due to a lack of activity.

"Our findings can influence the emphasis that we place on older adults to remain active," stated Dr Kolt.

"With greater levels of physical activity, more positive health gains can be achieved, and with greater physical function (through physical activity), greater independence can be achieved."

The release of the paper coincides with a study suggesting that Tai Chi can be beneficial for older adults.

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