Although age has previously been one of the sole factors when it comes down to predicting how long a person has left to live, a new study has found that your physiological age is even more accurate when it comes down to estimating the length of someone’s life.
Dr Serge Harb, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in the USA and Author of a new study that looks into the link between physiological age and chance of death has said; “Age is one of the most reliable risk factors for death, as the older you are, the greater your risk of dying… Although, we found that physiological health is an even better predictor. If you want to live longer, then exercise more. It should improve your health and your length of life…”
To come up with a person’s ‘physiological age’, the researchers created a calculation that they call ‘A-Best’ (Age Based on Exercise Stress Testing). To do this, they looked at “exercise capacity, chronotropic competence (how the heart responds to exercise) and how the heart rate recovers after exercise.” All of these were used as the components of A-BEST.
Dr Harb has said that being able to calculate your A-BEST is important as we grow older, as it gives people a more accurate representation of how old their body actually is. He went to say that “Telling a 45-year old that their physiological age is 55 should be a wake-up call that they are losing years of life by being unfit. On the other hand, a person knowing at the age of 65 that their A-BEST is of 50 is good for motivation…” Either way, being able to calculate someone’s physiological age is a good way to translate how important activity is; helping to avoid the inactivity epidemic that the UK is currently in.
Throughout the study, over 120,000 patients at the Cleveland Clinic were analysed; allowing Dr Harb and his team of researchers to calculate each patient’s A-BEST. The researchers then checked in on participants on average every 8.7 years. After the average check-up, 8% of participants had died, with at least one component of A-BEST being associated with the deaths.
Dr Harb, like other health and fitness professionals, has said that A-BEST could be used by GPs, doctors and Exercise Referral Specialists to translate to patients their “estimated age based on exercise performance,” which makes it easier to understand the impact that being inactive can have on overall life.
With the majority of those being inactive making excuses not to get fit, health experts being able to translate the impact to their patients could play a huge part in influencing more people to keep fit and get active, as calculating A-BEST allows each patient to see an accurate representation of the negative impact that simply not being active is having. This is massively positive for qualified Older Adult Fitness experts and those who are looking to get more people active, as being able to put into numbers how many years being inactive is knocking off their estimated lifespan is a good and reliable way to convince more Older Adults to stay active.
Overall, with the huge amount of inactivity across the UK as a whole, being able to translate the monumental benefit of being active in a way that means something to everyone is a great way to help get more people active. Not only does this research bring new room for improvement for those who are inactive, but it also urges Personal Trainers and fitness professionals to do what they can to make fitness more appealing and accessible for all.
It can be difficult for Personal Trainers and health experts to translate how vital being active is, but now, it is a lot easier for them to show clients and patients the impact that being inactive is having on not just their strength, but their lives as a whole. This is why more Personal Trainers are choosing to become qualified Exercise Referral Specialists. If you want to get involved in Exercise Referral to get involved in more diverse areas of fitness, take a look at Active IQ Exercise Referral Specialist courses to become qualified and gain another industry-recognised qualification.
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