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Energy expenditure and ageing


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In my evening of websurfing on a wet night, with wife away, and car being serviced so not able to get to ballet, I found a really interesting paper (Ratzlaff CR, Br J Sports Med. 2012 Aug;46(10):699-701), on energy expenditure for males and females as a function of age. It takes into account all forms of activity, and not just sport and work.

Interesting results: 1. Most energy is spent in occupation and in the home, not in sport.

2. Over much of their adult lives, women have greater total energy expenditure than men (mainly due to work in the home).

3. There is a precipitous drop in expenditure the 50s and older, and the very small expenditure from late 60s onwards.

4. Sport and exercise do not promote osteoarthritis - injuries do.

Since activity is known to promote health and longevity, the massive decline of activity in old age is something that we should be concerned about. If I manage, I'll add the salient graph from the paper here. Keep active!

post-1559-0-22322200-1430400565_thumb.jp click to enlarge

(A) Lifetime energy expenditure for occupation and sport by gender. (B ) Lifetime energy expenditure for household and sport by gender (in metabolic equivalent (MET)-hours per week). Adapted from Ratzlaff CR, Doerfl ing P, Steininger G, Koehoorn M, Cibere J, Liang M, et al. Lifetime trajectory of physical activity according to energy expenditure and joint force. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2010;62:1452–9.

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