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Researchers say retirement a good time to start getting active

November 11, 2013

When it comes to staying active during retirement, many people may assume that only those who have been active their whole lives can maintain such a lifestyle. However, the period immediately after leaving the workforce may be the most important time for determining whether retirees will follow a healthy lifestyle for seniors, according to researchers from the Sticht Center on Aging at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The study, which was published in the journal Age and Ageing, looked at just under 100 participants who were between 49 and 98 years old. Each subject was outfitted with devices meant to monitor how much time they spent sitting or moving around each week. Researchers found that retirees spend more time walking around than those who are still employed. 

"For those people … that are coming from jobs that are sedentary in their nature it's really an opportunity to use that time to take care of yourself in a way that will have important dividends in the long term," lead researcher Stephen Kritchevsky told Reuters. 

While retirement is a good time to get active, many older adults are not heeding the advice. Researchers found that just one in five seniors met the guidelines for physical activity - 150 minutes each week.