Fitness levels suffer decline in seniors: research

OLDER Australians are certainly enjoying their restful years in retirement - perhaps too much!

New research shows that seniors may be living longer than previous generations but their fitness and weight levels are much, much worse.

Flinders University examined more than 100 people aged between 60 and 70 years in research that replicated a study from 1991.

The participants were tested on an exercise bike, were examined on health factors such as blood pressure and were then quizzed about their exercise regime.

"As we all know, Australians are getting older, we've got an ageing population, so it's really important for us to try and work out the trends in health and fitness over time," Study leader Dr Lucy Lewis reportedly said.

"We were really interested in the comparison between [the] 1991 study and now 2017 to have a look and see what was happening."

And "what was happening" is that the fitness levels of seniors, despite increased physical activity, have dramatically reduced compared to those in the same age bracket 26 years ago!

Researchers believe that the cause could be modern seniors are living a far more sedentary lifestyle.

"Australians are now perhaps … spending increasing amounts of time sitting during the day, watching television, at a desk or using a computer," Dr Lewis said.

"That could perhaps go some way to explaining why people in our study were actually participating in more physical activity but had lower fitness."

However, the research did show that there has been a decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

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