Starting physical activity after age 70 increases life span and independence

Dr John Morley, writing in the St Louis Post-Dispatch, summarizes a couple of interesting recent studies:
A study by Stessman and colleagues from Hadassah Hebrew University in Jerusalem found that initiating physical activity over the age of 70 years leads to a 12% increase in longevity. This study was published in the September issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

This study also found that physically active persons between 70 to 85 years not only were less likely to die, but also had increased function and less loneliness. In addition, the physically active considered themselves to be more healthy than the inactive group. The findings of this study were similar to the British Heart Study and the Zutphen Elderly Study, both of which showed that physical activity was associated with longer lifespan in older persons.
The bottom line, according to Dr Morely: "Taking up exercise at any age will increase your chances of living longer."