Monday, May 4, 2015Monday, May 4, 2015

Lack of exercise bigger killer than smoking, ageing forum told

Published on Apr 4, 2014 8:26 AM

It is never too late for the elderly to start exercising. This can help the wheelchair-bound gain enough muscle and balance to get up and walk and tighten their muscles so that they no longer suffer from incontinence, said a speaker at an ageing conference.

Ms Lena Karjaluoto, chief executive officer of HUR, a major maker of exercise equipment for the elderly, said nobody is ever too old to exercise.

In fact, a lack of physical exercise is more harmful than smoking, she told the 360 participants from 13 countries at the two-day 5th Ageing Asia Investment Forum at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.

Each year, 5.3 million people die from physical inactivity compared to 5.1 million who die from tobacco-related causes, she said, quoting World Health Organisation figures. Deaths from a lack of exercise are also about four times the 1.2 million from road accidents each year.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!