Royce Shook

1 year ago · 1 min. reading time · ~10 ·

Royce blog
Lets get Physical

Lets get Physical

The following is from an email I received from the Alzheimer's Association

Given the increasing incidence of cognitive impairment and dementia, further understanding of modifiable factors contributing to increased health span is crucial. Extensive literature provides evidence that physical activity (PA) delays the onset of cognitive impairment; however, it is unclear whether engaging in PA in older adulthood is sufficient to influence progression through cognitive status categories.


Applying a coordinated analysis approach, a study independently analyzed 14 longitudinal studies from North America and Europe using multistate survival models to estimate the impact of engaging in PA on cognitive status transitions (nonimpaired, mildly impaired, severely impaired) and death.


Controlling for baseline age, sex, education, and chronic conditions, analyses revealed that more PA is significantly associated with decreased risk of transitioning from nonimpaired to mildly impaired cognitive functioning and death, as well as substantially longer Life Expectancy. Results also provided evidence for a protective effect of Physical Activity after the onset of cognitive impairment (e.g., decreased risk of transitioning from mild-to-severe cognitive impairment; increased likelihood of transitioning backward from a severe-to-mild cognitive impairment), though between-study heterogeneity suggests a less robust association.


These results yield evidence for the importance of engaging in Physical Activity of at least 150 minutes a week in older adulthood for cognitive health, and a rationale for motivating older adults to engage consistently in Physical Activity.

The Importance of Physical Activity

Engaging in physical activity in older adulthood is protective
for cognitive functioning and increased healthspan



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