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Healthy People 2020: Reducing the Number of Adults With Functional Limitations

Introduction

One of the major health factors discussed in the recent literature is the issue of physical activity. Most scholars and empirical studies have attempted to describe the relationship between functional limitations and the level of physical activity. It is argued that highly active people during their adult ages are likely to escape most chronic diseases and the functional limitations associated with them.

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In a systematic review, Paterson and Warburg (2010) carried out a review to examine the relationship between physical activity and functional limitation in older adults. The reviews examined a number of previous studies conducted in North America, especially in Canada and the US. The studies focused on the relationship between the level of activity and functional limitations in elderly people (65 and above) living in communities.

The findings indicate that most empirical research studies show a close relationship between a high level of physical activity and reduction in functional limitations. For instance, the authors found that greater physical activity was associated with high functional status in old age. It was explained that moderate and high levels of activity has the capacity to reduce the risks of developing disability or functional limitation in old age.

Studies have attempted to examine the relationship between a person’s gait speed and survival in old age. It was estimated that physical performance measures such as increased gait speed have a relationship with an increased rate of survival among the adults because it conferred reduced risks of chronic diseases and disabilities.

The study was conducted using 9 cohorts collected between 1986 and 2002 and data from community-dwelling individuals above the age of 65 (Studenski, Perera, Patel, Rosano, Faulkner, Inzitari & Guralnik, 2011). All the studies suggested a strong link between gait speeds and increased rates of survival in the elderly people. It is evident that the increased rate of survival is a product of reduced chances of developing functional limitations, old age disabilities and chronic diseases.

Another important factor is diet and weight management. These factors have a strong relationship with problems of chronic diseases, functional limitations as well as disabilities in old age. Studies have been carried out a study to examine the independent and combined effects of weight management and level of exercise on physical function in older adults (Villareal, Chode, Parimi, Sinacore, Hilton, Armamento-Villareal & Shah, 2011).

Specifically, the variable of obesity was given a special focus. Using a randomized and controlled trial, the researchers found that both weight management (through weight loss) and a higher level of physical exercise provides older people with greater improvement in physical function by reducing threats of chronic illnesses and functional limitations.

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The type of diet taken during adulthood has also been associated with the probability of developing functional limitations. For instance, a study by Morey, Snyder, Sloane, Cohen, Peterson, Hartman and Demark-Wahnefried (2009) examined the effects of home-based diet on the outcomes of overweight and long-term survivors of cancer over a period of 12 months.

The study indicated that the rate of decline in functional activity was associated with dietary interventions given to older people who are long-term survivors of such diseases as colorectal, prostate and breast cancer and diabetes (Jensen & Hsiao, 2010).

Analysis and synthesis of literature

Noteworthy, the existing information from the past studies shows evidence of a strong link or relationship between lifestyle and the probability of occurrence of functional limitations in the older people. The worthiness of the information from the previous studies is significant because most of research studies are empirical in nature.

In addition, most scholars have focused on the need for lifestyle change and the probability of developing chronic diseases. The issues of diet, physical activity and weight management have emerged (Jensen & Hsiao, 2010). Most of the studies have attempted to examine the relationship between these factors on a long-term basis, which proves the existence of the relationship.

Nevertheless, it is worth noting that most of the past studies have primarily focused on the older adults. Therefore, they tend to ignore the recent hypothesis that lifestyle change starting as early as childhood or early and mid-adulthood determines the probability and progress of functional limitations in older age. Therefore, it is important to carry out studies that will examine the effects of early lifestyle change, including increased levels of physical activity, weight management and dietary interventions on the level of functioning during older ages.

Theoretical framework

Studies have shown that a relatively strong relationship exists between a number of variables and functional limitations in old age. First, studies suggest that the level of physical activity has a negative correlation with the degree of functional limitations such that a high level of physical activity reduces the degree of functional limitations.

Secondly, functional limitation is strongly linked to functional limitations in old age such that the degree of functional limitations increases with the increase in the amounts of junk foods consumed. Thirdly, functional limitation is related to weight management such that obese and overweight individuals have a high probability of developing functional limitations in old age.

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Intervention identified

The review of literature shows that older adults have the highest probability of developing functional disabilities. It has been shown that a number of factors related to lifestyle, including increasing the level of physical activity, managing body weight and taking the right diet, can reduce this burden and improve the quality of life in old age. However, none of these interventions can successfully reduce functional limitations alone.

In addition, the studies have not shown the need to implement these strategies during early stages in life. Thus, the best intervention is to combine the initiatives and apply them in all levels across lifespan in order to improve the quality of life in old age by reducing the number of old people with diseases and functional limitations.

References

Jensen, G. L., & Hsiao, P. Y. (2010). Obesity in older adults: relationship to functional limitation. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, 13(1), 46-51. Web.

Morey, M. C., Snyder, D. C., Sloane, R., Cohen, H. J., Peterson, B., Hartman, T. J., & Demark-Wahnefried, W. (2009). Effects of home-based diet and exercise on functional outcomes among older, overweight long-term cancer survivors: RENEW: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of American Medical Association 301(18), 1883-1891. Web.

Paterson, D. H., & Warburton, D. E. (2010). Review Physical activity and functional limitations in older adults: a systematic review related to Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 7(38), 1-22. Web.

Studenski, S., Perera, S., Patel, K., Rosano, C., Faulkner, K., Inzitari, M., & Guralnik, J. (2011). Gait speed and survival in older adults. Journal of American Medical Association , 305(1), 50-58. Web.

Villareal, D. T., Chode, S., Parimi, N., Sinacore, D. R., Hilton, T., Armamento-Villareal, R., & Shah, K. (2011). Weight loss, exercise, or both and physical function in obese older adults. New England Journal of Medicine, 364(13), 1218-1229. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, April 29). Healthy People 2020: Reducing the Number of Adults With Functional Limitations. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/healthy-people-2020-reducing-the-number-of-adults-with-functional-limitations/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, April 29). Healthy People 2020: Reducing the Number of Adults With Functional Limitations. https://studycorgi.com/healthy-people-2020-reducing-the-number-of-adults-with-functional-limitations/

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StudyCorgi. "Healthy People 2020: Reducing the Number of Adults With Functional Limitations." April 29, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/healthy-people-2020-reducing-the-number-of-adults-with-functional-limitations/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2022. "Healthy People 2020: Reducing the Number of Adults With Functional Limitations." April 29, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/healthy-people-2020-reducing-the-number-of-adults-with-functional-limitations/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Healthy People 2020: Reducing the Number of Adults With Functional Limitations'. 29 April.

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