Running and Aging
Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The road to better health may be a jogging track. In todayís 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill takes a look at a study that looked at the effect of running on aging.

Running may slow the effects of aging, a study by Stanford University researchers shows.

The study compared a group of more than 500 older runners over age 50 to a group of non-runners over the course of 20 years. Researchers discovered that older runners have fewer disabilities, remain more active as they get into their 70s and 80s and are half as likely as non-runners to die early deaths.

The participants answered yearly questionnaires about their ability to perform everyday activities. The researchers used national death records to learn which participants died and why. Nineteen years into the study, 34 percent of the non-runners had died, compared with only 15 percent of the runners.

At the beginning of the study, the runners ran an average of about four hours a week. After 21 years, their running time declined to an average of 76 minutes per week.

Everyone in the study became more disabled over the course of the study, but for runners the onset of disability started later.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.