MONDAY, Aug. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Age-related physical decline might begin earlier than thought, a new study indicates.
Researchers from Duke University Health System in Durham, N.C., found that signs of physical decline can be seen in people in their 50s.
The results suggest that regimens to maintain basic strength and endurance should begin before age 50 in order to keep people mobile and independent later in life, according to the study researchers.
"The good news is, with proper attention and effort, the ability to function independently can often be preserved with regular exercise," said lead author Katherine Hall, an assistant professor of medicine.
"Our research reinforces a life span approach to maintaining physical ability -- don't wait until you are 80 years old and cannot get out of a chair," Hall said in a Duke news release.
The researchers assessed 775 adults ranging in age from their 30s to over 100. The participants had to perform simple physical tasks such as walking, standing on one leg and rising from a chair repeatedly.