Physical Decline Starts in 50s

A new suggests that you should work on maintaining or improving strength and endurance earlier in life to improve your quality of life as you get older.  In other words, don’t wait until your 80s to get out of a chair.   The recent Duke University study found many people begin to experience physical decline as early as in their 50s.

Researchers studied 775 participants ranging in age from 30 to 100 between 2012 and 2014.  The participants took part in a variety of strength, endurance, and balance activities.  These activities included repeatedly rising from a chair for 30 seconds, standing on one leg for a minute and walking for six minutes.  Researchers tracked their speed as they walked for about 10 yards.

A decline in physical ability was seen among participants in their 50s, regardless of gender and other demographics. Men and women in their 50s began to have difficulty standing on one leg and rising from a chair.  Those in their 60s and 70s lost endurance and walking speed.

Overall, men outperformed women, and younger participants fared better than older ones.

On a side note, if you sit all day at the office, it would be smart idea to get up and move around every couple hours to keep your strength up.

The study was published online June 29 in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A.