Since generations, the importance of physical activity and its positive impact on holistic wellness has been emphasized enough. The World Health Organization (WHO) provided a framework to study and promote healthy aging, and it defined Healthy Aging as a process that maintains the body’s functional ability to allow older people to do their things independently.
A study published in the IJBNPA or International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity studied the correlation and the impact of physical activity on the healthy aging trajectory. They found that adequate physical activity had a positive impact on healthy aging, reducing health risks, and functional disabilities.
Here is a brief of the conducted research.
Aging and Physical Activity
Many studies have revealed that aging is associated with many non-communicable diseases and disabilities. And so, maintaining good health and living a life of holistic wellness has become a priority to reduce the social, economic, and health concerns arising in the future.
Physical activity reportedly reduces the risk of acquiring non-communicable diseases, which, in turn, leads to lower healthcare costs and a better quality of life. Many epidemiological studies have also proven that the strong association between physical activity and the healthy aging trajectory. Another meta-analysis also proved the relationship between physical activity and healthy aging as the individuals who were physically active were 40% less prone to health concerns during their old age, compared to the ones who were physically inactive.
The IJBNPA Study
The IJBNPA study was based on the ATHLOS project, also known as the Ageing Trajectories of Health: Longitudinal Opportunities and Synergies. The ATHLOS project compiles study data from 17 international aging cohorts to understand the aging trajectory, including the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ALSA), the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS), the Japanese Study of Ageing and Retirement (JSTAR), and more. The total study sample comprised of 130,521 people from 26 countries across the globe, including the USA.
The individuals were categorized based on different variables like age, gender, education, lifestyle habits, and income. The frequency of the physical activity was divided into five categories –
- No physical activity
- Once a week
- 2 or 3 times/days per week
- 4 – 5 times/days per week
- 6 – 7 times/days per week
While 71.4% of the population was highly stable with the health quotient throughout the study, 25.2% showed low health levels at the start, which did not change much with time. 3.4% showed health levels close to the stable levels, but it declined quickly (fast decline) with time.
The studies showed that the participants who were engaging in moderate or less vigorous exercise throughout the week were prone to lesser possibilities of fast decline in health, compared to the physically inactive participants.
How Employee Wellness Programs Can Help?
Employee wellness programs primarily aim at improving employee health and wellness, along with engagement and workplace culture. However, they need to evolve with emerging trends and changing employee wellness needs. With the recent studies throwing the spotlight on the significant association of physical activity and holistic wellness in the older age, employers need to take measures to incorporate suitable wellness challenges that focus on physical activities to keep the employees active.
With the employee wellness programs from Wellness360, you can customize the wellness challenges on the wellness platform built with state-of-art corporate wellness technology, to help you and your employees meet the wellness and business goals.