As we get older, we are more concerned with our health. With age, our bodies become weaker and more susceptible to a greater number of illnesses, disabilities, and accidents. While aging is inevitable, there are certain things we can do to lessen the impact.
A recent study has shown that the walking speed of older adults (60 to 65 years old) can accurately predict their health in the future. Here’s everything you need to know about this study.
What Is Frailty?
Elderly people are prone to a condition known as frailty, which basically makes us weaker and at a greater risk of disabilities and hospitalization. Frailty can hinder the ability to perform everyday functions, like bathing, dressing, and getting up. However, frailty isn’t inevitable, as there are things we can do to prevent this from happening, or at least delay the onset.
Predicting Disability and Future Health
While diagnosing or predicting frailty used to be challenging, a new study reveals a faster method. According to this research, the speed of walking can predict whether or not we will have difficulties performing basic functions in the future. Note that this can only be applied to older adults aged 60 to 65.
Namely, if 60-year-old adults walk noticeably slower than their peers, this suggests that they won’t be able to perform basic living tasks in 10 to 20 years. Therefore, walking speed can determine future functional capacity.
Why Is This Important?
This study enables older individuals to take action while they still can. Whether it means physical therapy or some other form of monitoring or treatment, individuals who walk slower will be able to preserve their future health. It can also help prevent potential disorders or illnesses, and even extend one’s life span.