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Older people who go running 'may have longer lifespans'

Older people who go running 'may have longer lifespans'
14th August 2008

People from older age groups who go for runs may have longer lifespans and see improvements in disability levels, new research suggests.

Regular exercise could offer a wide variety of benefits to middle-aged and elderly people, according to a report by scientists from the Stanford University School of Medicine published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

A 156-strong control group of healthy people aged 50 and over was compared with 284 members of a running club over a period of more than 20 years - after 19 years, researchers found that 34 per cent of the control group had died, in comparison with only 15 per cent of the runners.

The study authors commented: "Our findings of decreased disability in addition to prolonged survival among middle-aged and older adults participating in routine physical activities further support recommendations to encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity at all ages."

In addition they said that as well as improving quality of life, increased levels of exercise could reduce healthcare costs linked to disability and chronic conditions.

Separate US research recently published in the Neurology journal suggested that Alzheimer's disease may be less likely in elderly people who are not physically frail.

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