Comment: Exercise could boost older people's mental health too
Release Date 15 May 2015
A new study has shown that regular exercise in old age has as a powerful effect on life expectancy. The University of Reading is examining the mental health benefits for older people who regularly cycle.
Dr Carien Van Reekum, from the University of Reading's Department of Psychology, explains:
"Regular exercise can not only aid physical health in older age but may benefit mental health too. Cycling in particular is known to be very important for older people - not only as a positive effect on their health but as a potential way of retaining a sense of independence. However while cycling accounts for 23% of all journeys for people aged 65 and older in the Netherlands, 15% in Denmark and 9% in Germany, it represents only 1% all journeys in the UK.
"Our current research focuses on cognitive and emotional changes when people get older, and how these changes impact on well-being. A number of recent studies have shown that regular physical exercise is one of the key factors in maintaining, or even improving, thinking and reasoning in older age. So I would encourage older people to ‘get on their bike' this summer."