Muscle atrophy: underdiagnosed, and rarely treated

About 20% of people aged 65 and over are suffering from muscle atrophy, or in medical terms: sarcopenia. In nursing homes, this percentage rises to between 60 and 70%. Muscle atrophy can lead to an increased risk of falling, severe fractures, and a greatly reduced quality of life. It could even lead to a premature death. In short: it is important to prevent and to treat this disease.

Professor sounds the alarm about muscle atrophy

The Free University of Amsterdam and the VU medical center conducted a research on the knowledge and treatment of muscle atrophy, drawing on the experience of 223 medical professionals working in a field related to this pathology, in order to investigate the way in which doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and dieticians deal with the disease. They worked in collaboration with the Hogeschool of Arnhem and Nijmegen, the Amstelland hospital and the University of Melbourne.

This first study about sarcopenia in the daily practice of health professionals reveals that the disease is still very rarely recognized. And if it is recognized, it remains underdiagnosed and undertreated. The Professor in gerontology Andrea Maier sounds the alarm: ‘In the first place, health professionals need to acquire more knowledge about the disease. Then, doctors, physiotherapists and dieticians need to work together towards a better treatment and a more frequent diagnosis’ (Source (in Dutch)). The study results are published in the online scientific magazine PLOS ONE). 

The diagnosis and treatment of sarcopenia

The study in its present state indicates that strength training is particularly important in the prevention of muscle atrophy. In addition to dietary advice and possibly to food supplements, it is the best intervention in the prevention and the treatment of sarcopenia. 

The action of SilverFit against muscle atrophy

The SilverFit systems motivate older people to get moving and therefore to train strength too. The SilverFit Newton helps train both the muscles of the arms and of the legs, as well as the torso. Besides, the SilverFit 3D, the SilverFit Compact and the SilverFit Alois offer games in which you have to stand up from a chair. In order to train both muscles of the arms and abdominals, games such as the Bingo or the Fox are very suitable. The game ‘deep sea diving’ is particularly adapted to the training of muscles of the arms. 

Congress on sarcopenia

In order to draw more attention on the disease, SilverFit organizes a congress in Dutch (accreditation still pending) on muscle atrophy which will take place in the spring of 2018. Would you like to attend this congress, or do you want more information about it? You can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Would you like to know more about the SilverFit systems and the way they can train strength? Do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to meet your directly at your location and offer you a free demonstration.


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