Health, performance and ageing
Ageing is an individual process and can be influenced. Athletes, for example, live about 4 years longer than non-athletes. Physical activity not only increases physical fitness, but also affects vitality as well as mental health and fitness: athletes often feel physically younger, more energetic, less stressed and have more social contacts.
The Research Group Epidemiology of Performance investigates such correlations of lifestyle, fitness, and health; both across ages and for specific age groups.
Performance deficits in middle age are often attributed to ageing and sometimes seen as predestined. Our analyses of more than 500,000 endurance-trained individuals aged 20 to 80 years paint a different picture: significant reductions in performance only occur after the age of 50 years - and are small. A quarter of the 60- to 70-year-old marathon runners were even faster than half of the 20- to 50-year-olds (more).
Loss of strength, which often considerably limits the fitness and mobility of older people, can also be compensated for a long time through strength training. This is illustrated by strength measurements, balance tests and geriatric function tests which we conduct in retirement homes and leisure groups for senior citizens (more).
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