Why is muscle weakness dangerous to older people?

Eric Olsen
It is widely held that we inevitably begin sliding down a very slippery slope along which increasing years cause declining strength, which leads to sedentary living, which leads to further declining strength, which leads to more sedentary living. Eventually we are unable to do any of the things we have to do to get through the day without help, increasing our dependence on others as well as our risk of all the diseases associated with sedentary living.

Muscular weakness can lead to increased risk of falls and a decreasing ability to live independently. For example, according to some research, about 40 percent of those 65 and older fall at least once a year. For most, these falls are relatively minor, but for many they result in possibly life-threatening fractures. Even the fear of falling can begin to severely restrict an individual's activities, leading to social isolation and lack of activity that create a downward spiral to increasing disability and dependence on others.
Lifefit: An Effective Exercise Program for Optimal Health and a Longer Life

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Lifefit: An Effective Exercise Program for Optimal Health and a Longer Life

An easy-to-follow programme for lengthening and improving lives. More than an exercise guide, this text is an effective tool for making meaningful lifestyle decisions to benefit long-term fitness. In...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.