Get a grip

Friday September 10, 2010 at 12:12pm

"Get a grip" says Sarah Boseley's in the Guardian today covering new research looking at the indicators of a long life. So of great interest to all of us over 40!

She reports on the initial studies that were commissioned to establish measures that could be used to identify which older people may need more help.

The studies used 4 markers for physical ability that to the average young person may seem easy to achieve but apparently as we grow older failings in these areas may indicate lower life expectancy. These are:

  • Grip Strength - i.e. how firmly you can grip something (using 53,000 people in the study)
  • Single leg balance or standing balance
  • Speed of getting up from a chair (using 28,000 people)
  • Walking pace (using 14,700 people)

The research team identified a potential link between weak performance in these tests and early mortality and strong performance in these tests with longer life expectancy.

The study unfortunately did not cover details of lifestyle, for instance participant’s level of exercise and activity or the socioeconomic circumstances which is a shame as this might have have provided perhaps further opportunities to identify those at risk. 

We are wondering, probably you are too, what you can do to improve your own personal performance and thus increase your lifespan. At we think that electing for a healthy, balanced lifestyle ensuring that you give your body all the things it needs to run like a well oiled machine is fundamental health insurance for later life. We all want to stay looking and feeling great and whilst some are dealt an unfair hand for the majority of us it’s in our hands.

Taking a good look at your shape, your posture, your diet and your lifestyle (yes this includes how much you exercise) is a really great start and should be on your priority list as prevention is far better than cure. Have a read of some of our articles below for advice and help on wellbeing and feeling younger. Do it when you can do something about it and before it’s too late.

How your body shape can affect your health

Good Posture and Bone Health

How to have a good stretch

Ageing Foods to avoid

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