Navigation Links
Study: Overweight older women have less leg strength, power
Date:9/19/2011

DURHAM, N.H. A new study from the University of New Hampshire finds that the leg strength and power of overweight older women is significantly less than that of normal-weight older women, increasing their risk for disability and loss of independence. With more Americans aging and becoming overweight or obese, the study, published recently in the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, dispels the popular image of the bird-thin elder being at greatest risk of becoming disabled due to loss of muscle mass.

"That's the chorus that's been sung for the last 20 years," says lead author Dain LaRoche, assistant professor of kinesiology at UNH. "But with two-thirds of Americans overweight or obese and the elderly population expected to double by year 2030, we are going to see a large portion of people who are disabled due to the concurrent gaining of weight and loss of strength."

Working with two undergraduate students, Rachel Kralian and Erica Millet (both class of 2010), LaRoche sought to measure the impact of excess weight on subjects' leg strength, walking speed, and power, the factors that affect activities of daily living like rising from a chair or climbing stairs. They found very little difference in the absolute strength of the overweight and normal-weight participants, but when their strength-to-weight ratio was calculated, the overweight women had an average of 24 percent lower strength than the normal-weight study participants.

"The deficits were even worse when you looked at power," says LaRoche, adding that power the rate at which strength is applied is more closely related to physical functions and fall risk than strength. The overweight women demonstrated 38 percent less power than the normal weight women. Walking speed was significantly slower about 20 percent for the overweight participants, as well.

"Everything pointed to the fact that it was the extra fat that these people were carrying that was really limiting their mobility," he says. "Being of a normal body weight lets you perform activities of daily living and live on your own longer."

Based on these findings, LaRoche suggests that normal-weight adults should work to maintain their weight and strength as they age. Older adults who are overweight can improve their strength-to-weight ratio by either losing weight or gaining strength. Perhaps surprisingly, data suggest the latter is the easier route. While most people are not successful at losing weight, "even the oldest old people can have dramatic increases in strength," says LaRoche, citing an earlier study he did (read about it here: http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2008/oct/bp23strength.cfm). The key to building strength is to fatigue the muscle with eight to fifteen repetitions, an aspect many new to weight training overlook.

LaRoche has been researching effects of strength and exercise on elderly populations for several years, but this is his first foray into the effects of obesity on this population. "I never intended to study overweight and obese elders, but it became obvious to me that being overweight is a growing and problematic concern," he says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Beth Potier
beth.potier@unh.edu
603-862-1566
University of New Hampshire
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study: No link betweem menopause and increased risk of fatal heart
2. Study: 85 percent of homeless people have chronic health conditions
3. Study: Afghan patients a common source of drug-resistant bacteria
4. Study: Community organization can reduce, negate impact of alcohol outlets on neighborhood violence
5. Study: Graphic warning labels reduce demand for cigarettes
6. Study: Inexpensive method detects ALK rearrangement in lung cancer patients
7. INFORMS study: OR models of hepatitis B prove decisive in treating millions in US, China
8. Study: Doctors differ in how best to care for Americas 12 million cancer survivors
9. Drexel study: Misuse of pain medication is pathway to high-risk behaviors
10. Study: Subsidizing wages at long-term care facilities would cut turnover
11. Study: Inherited Alzheimers Detectable 20 Years Before Symptom Onset
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... 11, 2016 , ... Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) is ... Case Study for Plans and Purchasers.” Executives from Intel Corp. and Providence Health ... value-based health benefits program Connected Care, will discuss the challenges they faced (and ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Australia (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... potential ?" motivational speaker, trainer and author Ray Clarke poses a question as ... personal fulfillment . In his book, "Being in the Being" (published by Partridge ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Greenfield ... charity program created to assist the people of their local community. The agency ... organizations and community leaders. Their hope is to bring awareness to important local ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Talix today announced that Clive Fields, MD, ... at the 2016 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, taking place February 29 – ... Coding for Care: Using Data Analytics for Risk Adjustment ,” Dr. Fields will ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , ... February 11, 2016 , ... The annual list ... on evaluation of DataPoint’s team dedication and commitment to the SharePoint ecosystem. ... the annual list. The panel’s goal is to recognize and promote technology entrepreneurship. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... Transformational M&A achieved through NPS and Dyax acquisitions ... Transformational M&A achieved through NPS and Dyax acquisitions and the ... M&A achieved through NPS and Dyax acquisitions and the announced ... with most robust pipeline in Shire , s ... most robust pipeline in Shire , s history ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... CHICAGO, Ill. , Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... of the AbbVie Rheumatology Scholarship, designed to provide ... rheumatologic disease as they pursue higher education goals. ... each for the 2016-2017 school year. The AbbVie ... Tracie Haas , vice president, corporate social ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016 Exactus Pharmacy ... providing high-quality specialty pharmacy care for those suffering ... it has achieved full Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation from ... dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, ... --> The URAC accreditation process demonstrates ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: