Exercising more often has a better effect on the elderly than exercising more intensely

New research shows that older people do not have to intensify their physical activity, but should rather exercise more often. Intensive exercise has beneficial effects on health, but to prevent immobility, it is more important to spend more time exercising.

All the scientific research agrees: exercising is healthy. For older people, it is not only beneficial because it reduces the risk of suffering from chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, as well as the risk of symptoms of depression; it also prevents bone fractures and diminishes the risk of physical impairments and cognitive decline. (Gezondheidsraad, Beweegrichtlijnen 2017). New research shows that older people who exercise a lot and sit still less often remain active longer.

Link between physical activity and immobility in the elderly

When conducting the ‘Lifestyle Interventions and independence for Elders’ (LIFE) study, researchers have looked into the effect of exercising and sitting still on older people (between 70 and 89 years old) with a high risk of becoming immobile. (Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in Wiley Online Library 2017, NPi-service Ouderen, nr 7, 2017). An elderly person who is immobile is no longer capable of walking 400 meters in 15 minutes. Needless to say, that immobility has far-reaching consequences on these peoples’ independence and life quality.

What matters the most is to increase frequency

The results of the LIFE study are clear: each time an elderly person achieves 500 steps, the risks of immobility as well as long-term immobility decrease. And every 30 minutes that are spent sitting still, the risk of immobility increases. 

The research shows that it is not necessary to increase the intensity of physical activity. However, increasing its frequency, even if the effort is lower, has a more beneficial effect on the mobility. Exercising more often is therefore the priority.

SilverFit’s contribution to older people’s mobility and well-being

Our products, such as the SilverFit 3D, the SilverFit Compact, the SilverFit Alois and the SilverFit Mile, are meant to make exercising fun. They have been developed specially for the elderly, with the intention of making them enjoy physical activity.

It appears from the study that biking with the SilverFit Mile doubles the amount of time spent exercising, compared to training on a regular exercise bike. It is due to the fact that people enjoy biking more while watching a route film on the Mile (Dr. Pisica, DomusVi Group 2017). It allows them to stay active longer, without noticing. Exercising turns into a pleasant activity while helping to prevent all kinds of physical symptoms and maintain mobility. 

Do you want to know how SilverFit can help your residents or clients? Do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to meet you directly at your location and offer you a free demonstration.


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