Many people are aware of how today’s lifestyle can impair mobility during middle to old age. However, only a few are mindful of doing some intervention to prevent the harmful effects of prolonged sitting on mobility. Disengaging deskbound routines even for just a few minutes within the day is very important for bodily functions to take place properly.
From sunrise to sundown, we spend a great deal of time in seated positions – traveling to and from the office, working for several hours in front of the computer, watching TV afterwards or unwinding with our smartphones. Sometimes, we do binge watching as different programs are now streaming on digital media.
New technology has simplified some processes and has made life more comfortable; people can do their groceries, shop, pay bills, and complete business transactions with just a few clicks and without having to leave their homes or offices. The downside however is that while this gets to be a regular thing, people tend to lessen movements and get things done sitting down for long hours.
New research was able to determine the detrimental effects of sedentary time on health and mobility in senior years. It examined individuals, ages 50 to 71, who had the tendency to sit for long hours and were not that physical active over the past decade. As presumed, they were the ones most likely to have difficulty walking towards the end of the study. Watching TV for five or more hours a day increases the risk of walking disability in latter years. Details of this research, which started in 1995, are published in The Journals of Gerontology.
The prevalence of prolonged sitting in today’s population could increase the incidence of walking disabilities in the future. More people would need mobility aids like crutches, canes, wheelchairs, scooters, or artificial limbs just to have mobility.
In the United Kingdom, over 11 million people have impairment, disability, or a limiting condition. According the Office for Disability Issues, the most commonly surveyed are those that affect mobility and weight bearing. Around 5 million of the disabled persons in Britain are over state pension age. As of 2008, the number of those aged 85 and over reached 1.3 million. Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) forecasts the figure to more than double and reach 3.2 million by the year 2033.
Demand for mobility equipment for the disabled has a steady growth over the past ten years, around 92.6% increase. These aids are being distributed through various channels and market size has improved by 9.2% during the previous year. International companies and small suppliers have been participating in the marketplace to offer more product choices.
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