Why a home with no stairs can give you ‘bungalow leg’

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Sumary of Why a home with no stairs can give you ‘bungalow leg’:

  • However, experts warn that making that move too early can actually hasten the decline associated with old age, leading to a phenomenon now being dubbed ‘bungalow leg’..
  • When you stop doing things, you lose the ability to do them, says Victoria Rendle, a physiotherapist based in Devon, who specialises in treating elderly patients [File photo] ‘There is a deconditioning element associated with moving into a bungalow and a definite concern that moving may hasten decline,’ says Dr Carolyn Greig, a reader in musculoskeletal ageing and health at Birmingham University..
  • If there is a significant number of stairs it also provides an aerobic challenge as well.’ How much your home directly contributes to any physical decline was the subject of a 2018 study in Japan, involving more than 6,000 people aged 65 or over who lived in either a single-storey dwelling, a home accessed by a lift, or a home with stairs, who were monitored for three years..
  • The results, published in the journal BMC Geriatrics, found that having stairs in the home appeared to help hold back age-related physical decline..
  • When you stop doing things, you lose the ability to do them, says Victoria Rendle, a physiotherapist based in Devon, who specialises in treating elderly patients..
  • But if you then take the stairs away and lead a more sedentary life, you may hasten that decline further.’ She adds:.
  • Seeing a physio who can work out what is working or not and keeping as active as possible are key.’ Experts warn that making that move too early can actually hasten the decline associated with old age, leading to a phenomenon now being dubbed ‘bungalow leg’ The beauty of going up and down the stairs is that it engages four key muscle groups and keeps key joints strong..
  • Exercise stimulates each of these processes to do more.’ And while many people may move to a bungalow as they fear falling down the stairs, the decline that they may experience in the muscle strength from not using stairs might make a fall more likely..
  • ‘We know that exercise, and particularly exercise which improves balance such as getting up out of a chair, can reduce falls so it is important to stay active..
  • ‘However old you are, it important to add repetitions, gradually increasing from one set of steps to two, or the number of chair rises you do — otherwise you are not stimulating your muscles.’ Bungalow-dwellers should also think carefully before investing in an electric riser recliner chair…

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