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Mature Adults Who Are More Active May Have Better Physical and Mental Health

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity. A new study has found that mature adults who engage in more moderate to vigorous physical activity may have improved physical and mental health.

The researchers used data from the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort, which included approximately 78,000 participants with an average age of 78. Of those participants, 3,718 were cancer survivors who were 1-5 years post diagnosis, 4,248 were cancer survivors who were 6-10 post diagnosis, and 69,860 had no history of cancer. They completed surveys that assessed moderate to vigorous physical activity levels, time spent sitting, and physical and mental health.

Participants who reported the most highest levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity had significantly better physical and mental health, regardless of cancer status. Less time spent sitting was also associated with better physical and mental health.

The study was conducted by researchers from the American Cancer Society. It was published online ahead of print on October 20, 2020 in the journal Cancer.

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