As we grow older, one of the biggest concerns people face is deteriorating mental health
More older adults report experiencing some sort of psychological distress as they age. Thankfully, a new study out of Australia has found that those who stay physically active as they age have a far greater chance to stay mentally sharp as well.
Dr. Gregory Holt of the University of Sidney School of Science and Health and his team analyzed data from over 100,000 Australian men and women age 65 and older. In the study, psychological distress scores determined by researchers showed that 8.4% of all participants were currently experiencing at least some level of psychological distress. It also showed that those experiencing psychological distress were almost seven times more likely to experience a functional limitation.
Similar psychological distress has been linked to reduced physical activity in previous studies across a broad range of age groups.
“Our findings can influence the emphasis that we place on older adults to remain active,” Kolt notes. “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 study also found that older adults who stayed more physically active were far less likely to experience functional limitations.
So get out there and stay active folks! Stay active to stay sharp!