This new study sheds light on a new generation of ‘smart’ and ‘strong’ elders over centuries of evolution. Research revealed that the elderly are now more active than their elderly.
In a new study in Finland, researchers have claimed that elderly people today are just as fit and active. Researchers comparing the physical and cognitive performance of elderly people of similar age and physical status in 2017 with a group of three-decade-old elderly found that today’s elderly perform better in almost every test than the elderly 30 years ago.
Scientists of the research say that this is a sign that the duration of the normal life of a normal person is constantly increasing. This is the reason that today our life expectancy is higher than before. Human life expectancy has been increasing continuously since the last century. However, a group of scientists suggested that we should focus more on its quality rather than on longer duration of life.
‘Hale’ is the test of health quality
In order to make human lives healthier and more quality, in 2001, the World Health Organization included a new criterion in its global health analysis – Healthy Life Expectancy. This is a new health calculation that focuses on how long a person remained healthy throughout their lifetime. It not only focuses on life but also on health period i.e. health span. It suggests that attention should be paid to how healthy a person lives after the age of 70 years. Therefore we should pay attention to the quality of these last years of age.
Knowing ‘health’ by comparing two generations
Researchers at the University of Jyväskylä University in Finland have compared physical and cognitive performance in two groups of the same age group of two different times. By comparing the health of the two generations, they have found the stamina of the elderly generation today. University researchers compared nearly 500 elders from 30 years ago and today.
The first study in 1989 was in which the elderly, aged between 75 and 80, born between 1910 and 1914, participated in a variety of physical and cognitive tests. Similarly, elders of the age group of 75 to 80 years, born between 1938 and 1943, also participated in 2017 in a variety of physical and cognitive tests. The main investigator of the research, Tain Rantanen, says that this research has introduced a new way to measure the continuous progress of health from one generation to another.
Qualitative improvement was seen in the second group
Chief investigator Tain Rantanen says that this research is unique in many respects because there are only a few studies in the world in which performance-based health and qualitative between people of the same age in two different ages Life has been compared. Rantanen says the study’s performance-based results show how the elderly manage their daily lives, and the study also shows the functional age of both groups.
The study revealed that the elderly aged between 75 and 80 years, born between 1938 and 1943, performed better than the elders in the 75 to 80 years group born between 1910 and 1914 in almost all tests. Even at the age of 80, his pace was fast, this group showed their stronghold with a strength of 25 percent as compared to 5 percent of the first group. Similar knee problems also showed improvement in the elderly of the second group by 47 percent as compared to 20 percent of the first group. The lungs were also working much better than in the first group.
These are the reasons for the better performance
PhD scholar Matty Manukka, working on this research, says that 75 to 80-year-olds between 1938–43 have many reasons for better performance than their counterparts born three decades earlier. There have been many favorable changes between the elders of both generations. Some of the important factors are improved nutrition and hygiene, improvement in health care and school system, access to better education and improvement in working life.
This cognitive performance comparative study has been published in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research. Whereas ‘physical performance comparative study’ has been published in Gerontology: Series A Journal (The Journals of Gerontology: Series A).