Can Strength Training Help You Live Longer?

Can Strength Training Help You Live Longer?

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Title: Is strength training associated with mortality benefits? A 15year cohort study of US older adults.

Author: Kraschnewski et al

Journal: Preventative Medicine

Objective: to understand the association between meeting strength training guidelines and future mortality in an older US adult population.

Background

We’ve known for a long time that physical activity has numerous health benefits. Generally speaking, all types of physical activity clumped together reduce your risk of:

  • Death
  • Heart attack and heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • And many more..

In 2007, the American Heart Association issued recommendations that adults participate in strength training exercises at least twice per week. Over the last decade or two, strength training has been linked to a reduced risk of a multitude of diseases including:

  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Low back pain
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer mortality

Unfortunately, Only 21.7% of older adults currently meet recommendations for strength training more than twice per week.

The authors of this study wanted to investigate the question of strength training in older adults and overall risk of death.

Methods

They analyzed data from the 1997-2001 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and linked it to death certificate data.

They limited the analysis to adults over 65.

They looked specifically at strength training twice a week and how it related to all-cause mortality.

They also looked at demographics, past medical history and other healthy behaviors.

Results

Roughly 10% of the survey respondents reported strength training twice per week.

Compared to those strength training less than twice a week, strength training adults had a 46% lower odds of all cause mortality. (adjusted OR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.57-0.70; p < 0.001).

This relationship was true after adjusting for past medical history and other healthy behaviors.

Conclusion

Strength training among adults over 65 had a protective effect on all cause mortality.

This study strongly suggests that older adults will benefit from strength training and that physical fitness interventions should include strength training as part of the program.

Original Article

Kraschnewski, J. L., Sciamanna, C. N., & Poger, J. M. (2016). Is strength training associated with mortality benefits? A 15year cohort study of US older adults.Preventive Medicine, 87, 121-127. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.02.038

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