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Analysis of Scientific Literature: Exercise and Aging

The study picked for the critique is Physical activity in older age: Perspectives for healthy aging and frailty. Bio-gerontology (McPhee et al. 2016). Physical activity is one of the necessities for healthy living throughout all stages of life. Regular physical activities are vital in muscle contraction, aerobic processes as well as boosting immunity hence minimizing susceptibility to related diseases. Due to the sedentary lifestyles that accompany old age, most aging people usually do not engage in regular exercise thus resulting in high cases of frailty, ill health, and mortality among the age group. While the author acknowledges that old people cannot engage in rigorous and daily physical activities, timely participation in these activities helps avert major health issues.

The study participants targeted during the research were adults, particularly those above fifty (50) years. At this age, sedentary practices such as limiting walking distances, avoiding sporting activities, and other forms of physical exercise are avoided by the majority of these adults. The urge of engaging in physical activity regresses gradually as an individual grows older (Tak et al. 2013). The author based on a survey carried out by the Department of Culture in 2011 where over 92000 participants gave responses to the research question.

The author opted for a qualitative research design to answer the research questions. Healthy aging is the ability to lead a healthy lifestyle that is socially inclusive, usually determined through participation in exercises through the corresponding stages of life. The MYOAGE study found that most adults, particularly those aged above 70 years had lower physiological functions compared to young adults (McPhee et al. 2013). This resulted in weaker muscular tissues, obesity problems, and lower cognitive function. Low or no physical activity (exercise) leads to frailty. Other causes of this phenomenon include weakness, slow gait speed, low social interaction levels, and unintended weight loss. Half of the older people who are aged over eighty years suffer from frailty (Clegg et al. 2013)

Frequent physical activity is key in promoting healthy aging. Commencing an exercise routine during the earlier stages of life is key to achieving healthy aging. Exercise is essential in boosting immunity through better development of cardiovascular, nervous, and muscular systems (Earnest et al. 2013). Perspiration, the burning of fats, as well as increased pulse rates, increase the metabolism in the body thus preventing the accumulation of harmful substances stored in body organs or tissues. The author stated that regular walking greatly lowered the risk of mobility disabilities while increasing the duration of staying healthy in sedentary adults. (Roh & Park, 2013).

However, the amount and duration of these exercises should be monitored closely to ensure that no harm arises as a result. Older adults with larger body mass index can participate in designated physical activities intensely to achieve the intended purpose. Vigorous and demanding exercises are not advisable for older adults. Instead, the focus should be placed on possible, simple yet moderate-intensity exercises with capabilities of achieving healthy aging in older adults (Ganse et al. 2014). These light exercises range from jogging, walking, swimming and they greatly reduce mortality in participating adults while enabling them to achieve high health standards among their age group.

Older people are usually associated with low muscular mass which manifests in mobility impairment. This can be prevented through regular participation in exercise activities. Exercises aim at stretching and tightening the tendons as well as muscles, enabling the individual to have more strength and endurance. Sarcopenia is a disorder associated with the loss of muscle mass due to aging. Intensities of these activities vary and the more an individual carries out the exercise, the more they increase the size of the muscles hence enhancing the core strength (Maden-Wilkinson et al. 2013).

The study was keen to highlight acknowledge social, demographic, and psychological considerations that encompass physical activities. Factors such as class, wealth, and standards greatly influence willing participation in regular exercise. Poverty is one of the limiting factors that greatly affect the way different people undertake these activities. People living in areas characterized by high poverty are less likely to undertake frequent and rigorous activities due to social and economic dilemmas (Matthews et al. 2014). Health, in these demographic zones, is substandard and not quite the same in the affluent areas. The risk of disease outbreak is quite high, especially in older adults. Another factor encompassing exercise is the will of an individual to engage in exercises. An individual who has higher expectations that this adopted routine will have positive economic, social, or health impacts is likely to stick for quite a while as compared to those who don’t have a specific purpose

The study concluded that even though participation in physical activity was vital to health, the rate of its implementation in older adults is quite low. The study stated that undertaking exercises help the body’s metabolism and develop the muscular system to achieve a healthy status. Sedentary adults engage in activities such as drinking, sleeping hence lack physical activities. Factors like poverty play a great factor in influencing these older people’s choices of exercising. However, there needs to be a set guideline that stipulates all aspects of physical activity. Awareness should emphatically be placed on understanding this concept; its importance, its application, and its relevance to the modern health issues that arise from our choices of lifestyle.

The author did not suggest any specific applications of the findings of the study. He did, however, give us a full template from which information can be deduced. Implementation of these exercise routines can be of great benefit to the older adults from both classes, it reduces the risk of mortality and getting sick. This, according to the study, could be achieved through strong muscular development, increased social interaction as well as nervous system development. The introduction of a culture that will push and motivate the sedentary population, not just the older people into undertaking these activities will prove to be of great effect, both in longevity and life expectancy. Well, as people grow older, they tend to forget more about their health and this could prove detrimental. Lowering the attached costs in obtaining these services as well as medical practitioners embracing physical activities among all age groups could prove key in changing the viewpoint of the population.

Since the author did a great job in highlighting the concept of physical activity; both the importance and relevance, future research was done should be dedicated to finding techniques in which participation in such activities can be promoted to reach the larger population. Scopes that should be covered should acknowledge how to create mass awareness of the study’s findings, initiatives that can be created to resolve the low levels of physical activity in older adults as well as the practices that prevent a person from engaging in physical activities from a social, economic, religious and personal point of view. Studies in this direction will enable people to combat causes of high mortality as well as illness contraction.


Clegg, A., Young, J., Iliffe, S., Rikkert, M. O., & Rockwood, K. (2013). Frailty in elderly people. The Lancet381(9868), 752-762.

Ganse, B., Degens, H., Drey, M., Korhonen, M., McPhee, J., Müller, K., … & Rittweger, J. (2014). Impact Of Age, Performance, and Athletic Event on Injury Rates In Master Athletics–First Results From an Ongoing Prospective Study. Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions14(2), 148-154.

Maden-Wilkinson, T. M., McPhee, J. S., Rittweger, J., Jones, D. A., & Degens, H. (2014). Thigh Muscle Volume in Relation to Age, Sex, And Femur Volume. Age36(1), 383-393.

McPhee, J. S., French, D. P., Jackson, D., Nazroo, J., Pendleton, N., & Degens, H. (2016). Physical Activity In Older Age: Perspectives For Healthy Aging And Frailty. Bio-gerontology17(3), 567-580.

McPhee, J. S., Hogrel, J. Y., Maier, A. B., Seppet, E., Seynnes, O. R., Sipilä, S., … & Jones, D. A. (2013). Physiological And Functional Evaluation Of Healthy Young And Older Men And Women: Design Of The European Myoage Study. Bio-gerontology14(3), 325-337.

Roh, K. H., & Park, H. A. (2013). A Meta-Analysis Of The Effect Of Walking Exercise On Lower Limb Muscle Endurance, Whole-Body Endurance, And Upper Body Flexibility In Elders. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing43(4), 536-546.

Tak E, Kuiper R, Chorus A, Hopman-Rock M. (2013). Prevention of Onset and Progression of Basic ADL Disability by Physical Activity in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Meta-Analysis. Ageing Rev. 2013; 12:329–338. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2012.10.001.


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