New study at UNCG focuses on fitness among seniors

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — A new study being conducted by UNCG hopes to find why some people slow down as they age while others keep active.

“For people over 60, physical activity has health benefits and plays a part in how independent they live their lives and quality of life,” said Dr. Jaclyn Maher, with UNCG, who is leading the study thanks to a grant from National Institute on Aging.

Participants, aged 60+, will be assessed for a few weeks throughout the year using monitors and a smartphone.

“One is a waist monitor, it’s very tiny but it’s worn on the hip and measures their physical activity,” Maher said.

Another monitor will track how often they sit still, and they’ll report their mood and the people they are around through a smartphone provided.

“I was in severe pain and I realized I needed to get stronger to support my back and it worked,” said Joyce D’Arconte, who is part of the study.

She became even more active to fight pain from back surgery 15 years ago.

“When you think you can’t get any better all of a sudden one day, you’ll say oh my goodness I can do this now!” she said.

Researchers started recruiting residents last month. They are currently looking for 200 Guilford County residents, age 60 and older, who are active at least 30 minutes a day. If you are interested contact the Physical Activity and Lifetime Wellness Lab at PALW_lab@uncg.edu or 336-334-3435.

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