Relationship between the level of physical activity and the cognitive ability in autonomous elderly people living in the community
Increased life expectancy and the aging of the population leads to an increase in the incidence and prevalence of certain diseases. Between 2011 and 2050 it is expected that the world population aged 65 and over will triple, jumping from 524 million to 1.51 billion people.
Aging is accompanied by a number of physiological changes leading to a progressive loss of adaptation to environmental demands and increased vulnerability. On the one hand, changes occur in the body’s composition, with increased fat mass combined with the reduction of muscle and bone mass. On the other hand, it is also linked to other factors such as depression, cognitive impairment, and decreased vision, among others, which lead to the loss of independence and functional capacity.
Research on the effects of exercise in improving the welfare of the elderly has focused primarily on the physiological benefits. In fact, supervised multicomponent exercise programmes (strength, resistance, balance and flexibility) have been effective in improving the physical condition of the elderly. However, there is limited literature that has studied the role that exercise plays in the psychological aspects of those who engage in it. Despite this, there are some studies that suggest that exercising produces an improvement in the cognitive ability and psychological well-being of the elderly.