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The Effects of Fitness on the Aging Process

Vopat, Bryan G. MD; Klinge, Stephen A. MD; McClure, Philip K. MD; Fadale, Paul D. MD

JAAOS - Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: September 2014 - Volume 22 - Issue 9 - p 576–585
doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-22-09-576
Review Article

Decades of research support the fact that much age-related deterioration is the result of the effects of sedentary lifestyles and the development of medical conditions rather than of aging itself. Elite older athletes, who demonstrate enhanced performance compared with historic cohorts and even some younger peers, are models of this paradigm. Many non-elite middle-aged adults and older adults continue to remain increasingly active throughout middle age and beyond. A continually growing body of basic science and clinical evidence demonstrates how active persons modulate physical decline through training. An updated understanding of how active adults defy age helps orthopaedic surgeons not only manage their patients’ performance but also improve their lives. A large segment of sedentary older adults will benefit from counseling that encourages the pursuit of more active and healthier lifestyles.

From the Department of Orthopaedics, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI.

Dr. Fadale or an immediate family member has received research or institutional support from Arthrex, DePuy Mitek, and Smith & Nephew. None of the following authors or any immediate family member has received anything of value from or owns stock in a commercial company or institution related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article: Dr. Vopat, Dr. Klinge, and Dr. McClure.

© 2014 by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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