Aiming to ward off ‘spiral of decline’ in aging rural South African population

Older man sitting outside in rural South Africa

Researchers analyzed data collected as part of the HAALSI study to learn more about the self-reported physical activity (PA) levels of a population over 40 years old. Factors such as being male, over the age of 80, in a higher wealth category, obesity, and poorer functional capacity correlated with lower levels of physical activity. The paper is published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

“These findings highlight worthwhile targets for future interventions to maintain or improve PA levels in this population and suggest that intervening earlier within this age range (from 40 years) may be crucial to prevent the ‘spiral of decline’ that characterizes the frailty syndrome.”

Researchers include: Simone A. Tomaz, Justine I. Davies, Lisa K. Micklesfield, Alisha N. Wade, Kathleen Kahn, Stephen M. Tollman, Catherine E. Draper, Miles D. Witham