To sit or not to sit, that is the question

Tired businessman sleeping on chair in office with his legs on tWe all know that exercise is good for you and sitting is bad. Right? Wrong, according to the new article published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

The study followed some 5000 men and women over a 16 year period and found that sitting at work or at home was not associated with increased risk of death even when age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, health, alcohol consumption and diet were taken into consideration. So, according to these authors, sitting may not be as bad for us as we previously thought.

Continue reading

Diet and exercise – important ingredients for quality of life and successful cognitive aging?

Eldre mann og eldre dame på spinningsykler. Foto: Andrea Hegdahl Tiltnes /NTNUThe biological level ageing results from the impact of the accumulation of a wide variety of molecular and cellular damage over time. But these changes are neither linear nor consistent, and they are only loosely associated with a person’s age in years. There is no ‘typical’ older person and some 80 year-olds have physical and mental capacities similar to many 20 year-olds.

However, as we grow older our bodies are changing. We may grow a little rounder around the waistline, or wake in the night, or feel a little stiffer in the morning. Most of us have to start to use glasses, and slowly our hear turns grey. Some even loose it. As we grow older increased forgetfulness that not is impairing our daily life is considered to be a part of the normal aging process. Generally, information processing also slows as we grow older, and older people have more trouble multitasking. However, research find that problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes, also called cognitive impairment may increase the risk of later progressing to dementia. Still, some people with mild cognitive impairment never get worse, and a few eventually get better.

Continue reading

What is your cholesterol? – Know your number!

Elisabeth Vesterbekkmo. Foto: BERRE ASFamilial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is the most common of all severe familial disorders and its hallmark is high LDL-cholesterol in plasma. The disease is carried by one out of 200-300 persons in Europe – that is to say a total of about 2 million people in Europe carry FH. The disease is present from early childhood, but is carried without symptoms until the third or fourth decade in life, when heart disease will appear. If untreated, 50 percent of men will have had their first heart attack before the age of 50 years, and women before 55 years. To carry FH is to carry a ticking bomb that, if untreated, will cause cardiac disease or death.

Continue reading

Environment and the heart

robot-hjerteDid you know that the environment is important for the health of you heart? That air and noise pollution are environmental health risks with a wide-ranging impact on cardiovascular diseases?

Environmental factors are estimated to be responsible for up to 20% of the disease burden in Europe.  Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) make up the  largest portion of this burden, according to the European Heart Network. Together with the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (EACPR) they have launched a campaign to raise the public awareness of the environments impact on heart health. They invite people to join the campaign by supporting the ‘Environment & the Heart Call for Action’ by signing the online petition.

The results of the campaign, will be presented to the European Commissioners for Health, Environment, Climate Change and Transport in Brussels on World Heart Day, 29 September.

Are people who feel tired all the time less active?

Thorlene EgertonTiredness or fatigue is one of the most commonly reported symptoms in primary care. There are many different types of fatigue. For example, people may experience fatigue if they cannot sleep well or if they exercise intensively. But there are a lot of older people that feel fatigued all day every day for no apparent reason. This can be distressing and may reduce their quality of life. We don’t currently know a great deal about this problem. For example, we don’t know how daily physical activity levels are related to these experiences of fatigue. On one hand, people who are more active might be more likely to feel tired. But on the other hand, people who experience unrelenting fatigue may be forced to be less active. I am a post-doctoral research fellow working in the Geriatrics, Movement and Stroke (GeMS) group at NTNU, and through collaboration with CERG and the Generation 100 study, I was able to try and find out a bit more about fatigue.

Continue reading

Simple questions predicted health risk

Bjarne NesThis spring the first data from a large British health survey and information database, called the UK Biobank, was published in The Lancet. UK Biobank consist of more than 655 different measurements of demographics, health and lifestyle factors from about 500 000 middle-aged to elderly brits. The aim of the study was simply to rank all the information, spanning from number of white blood cells and preferred handedness to number of vehicles in your household, by their statistical association with risk of premature death from different diseases within 5 years. Then the researchers developed a prediction score based on the strongest predictors for each sex.

Continue reading

The Optimus Tempus of your Life?

D-eldre1Getting old itself is associated with numerous shortcomings, or are there advantages of being older?

The notion of prime time of life has been changing with the changing era. Some say that life begins at 40, or 60 is the new 50. Is there a way to figure out what is the best age to be? I try to summarize the writings of already published BBC article on this topic, published on 26th May 2015.

When we talk about physical fitness, mid 20s seems to be the best age for sprint running, shot put, javelin or other associated sports activities with a sharp decline after hitting 30s. Professional footballers have their prime time in sports in early 20 years of their life.

Continue reading

Mental health and healthy aging – benefits of exercise in healthy and diseased populations

hodepineThe evidence supporting the physical and mental health benefits of exercise across the life span is compelling. In a recent review of prospective population based studies the authors concluded that those practicing regular physical activity at had significantly lower risk of depressive symptoms. Further, the latest Cochrane review of randomized controlled studies on exercise among patients with medical diagnosed depression concluded that exercise had the same antidepressant effect as psychological or pharmacological therapies.

Continue reading

Can exercise help elderly to live longer at home?

Visitors from the Agathe project in GranåsenAgathe – Ageing At Home, is a Grundtvig Learning Partnership under the European Commission’s program for Lifelong Learning, and last month they came to visit us at CERG, and learn more about our project on exercise on elderly, Generation 100.

– We are five partners from Germany, Poland, Spain and Norway who visit each other and learn about how each country try to make it possible for elderly people to live longer at home. Our project aims at building in each country support structures for elder people’s self-determined living at home in structurally weak rural regions, i.e. to create good conditions in order to enable people to live longer at home, project leader Øivind Solheim explains.

Continue reading

Congratulations to Linda Ernstsen

Warm congratulations to CERG Post Doctor Linda Ernstsen who recived the 2015 Oded Bar-Or International Scholar Award at the 2015 ACSM’s 6th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine in San Diego California.

We are very proud of her achievements, and wish her good luck with her future studies. She is currently working on new studies on fitness and mental health together with professor Steven Blair and associated professor Mei Sui at The University of South Carolina.

Read more about the award and her stay in South Carolina in this blogpost: International Scholar Award to Linda Ernstsen