Fatigue a predictor of early death in older adults

Fatigue a predictor of early death in older adults

If a 30-minute walk seems like an exhausting chore, rather than an energizing and uplifting activity, that’s not a welcome sign.

Perhaps not a harbinger of doom, but at the very least, a suggestion from the cosmos that your exercise regimen needs work.

University of Pittsburgh researchers in a recent study said the amount of fatigue an older person feels in conjunction with physical activity can predict the likelihood that their death is less than three years away.

It is believed to be the first study to tie perceived physical fatigability to earlier mortality.

The researchers gave what is known as the Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale to nearly 3,000 participants aged 60 or older in a long-running international study. Using a 0 to 5 scale, they ranked how tired they thought various activities might  make them, such as light housework  or heavy gardening.

Those who scored the highest, based on how exhausted they believed those activities would make them, were more than twice as likely to die in the following two years and seven months compared with other survey-takers who scored lower.

The highest scores were those of 25 or above on the Fatigability Scale and the lowest scored 25 or below.

Exercise is known to reduce the amount of tiredness we feel after doing routine household chores and other activity. So starting a routine, such as a regular walk or scheduled exercise, is a good idea.

The researchers screened for a number of factors that influence mortality, such as depression or serious illness.

The bottom line: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion. To live our best life, we all need to be objects that stay in motion.

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