Walking, weight loss increase older, obese people's mobility
Wake Forest University scientists say obese older people with cardiovascular problems would improve mobility as much as 20 percent by a combination of walking and weight loss.
This finding is opposite to the commonly held belief that it is unhealthy for older adults to lose weight.
The researchers recruited 288 patients age 60 to 79, separated them into two groups - a physical activity only group and a physical activity and weight loss group - and followed them for over 18 months.
The 400-meter walk was used in the test as a measure.
The results showed that participants improved their mobility by 5 percent on average, and the mobility could be improved as much as 20 percent.
"With 60 percent of adults over age 65 walking less than one mile per week and a rapidly growing population of older adults, the need for cost-effective community-based intervention programs to improve the mobility of seniors is critical," said Rejeski, principal investigator for the Cooperative Lifestyle Intervention Program.
Stephen Lau and editing by Denise Reynolds