Exercise as it relates to Disease/Are Leisure time activities enough to melt away the elderly male beer belly?
Background to this research?
This discussion page was created by U3134900, As my father is retired and reaching the age of 67 he is currently noticing the protrusion of his stomach, his beer belly. Males tend to store excess body fat in either the chest or belly compared to females who store it in the thighs, hips and belly. In this article I am looking at the leisure activity time of elderly males aged 68–79 and the relationship with obesity. In this study the 85 males living in retirement villages were assessed using a DEXA (Dual energy X-ray Adsorptiomerty) scan to calculated Body Mass Index (BMI) and muscle mass.
What is Leisure time physical activity? It can be as simple as doing daily household chores to as vigorous as chasing the grand kids in the backyard. Adults aged 18–64 are told to participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, alternatively at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity throughout the week or a combination of both. As the aging male population starts to retire they become less involved in a routine. This can be associated with physical activity and can lead to the eventual beer belly problem such as my father.
Where is the research from?
This research was collected as leisure-time of physical activity, obesity and disability in elderly men. this data came from 85 community dwelling men aged 68–79 years old. This study was a cross sectional analysis of many previous studies from Switzerland to New Mexico. The basis of the study was to compare against The World Health Organisation (WHO) that work through more than 150 countries through government and other partners and are working to a healthier population.
What kind of research was this?
The research was an analysis of the 85 elderly men. Francesco Vi Dl  calculate Body Mass index using the Dual energy X-ray Absorptiometry as well as an self evaluation of leisure time activity. With this information they used the World health organisations standard of 150 minutes a week or 30 minutes a day to see any relationship between body fat and fat free mass.
What did the research involve?
They key research item of this study was the relationship between leisure time activities, obesity, preservation of muscle mass (Sarcopenia) and physiological disabilities.
Leisure time activities were self assessed by the participants with a self evaluating questionnaire that was based off the recommended level of physical activity by World Health Organisation.
Obesity was calculated by BMI 
Body Mass Index Breakdown
|Moderate Thinness||16.0 - 16.9|
|Mild Thinness||17.0 - 18.5|
|Normal Range||18.5 - 24.9||Average|
|Pre-obese||25.0 - 29.9||Increased|
|Obese Class I||30.0 - 34.9||Moderate|
|Obese Class II||35.0 - 39.9||Severe|
|Obese Class III||>40.00||Very Severe|
Body composition and the muscle mass was measured by Duel Energy X-ray Absorptiometry which is a gold standard test for anthropology.
Disability were measured by a modified Activities of daily living scale assessment.
What were the important findings?
If there was anything to get across from this study its that daily walking of less that 30 minutes was associated with 2.7 greater probability of being obese. And you would prefer to get the individual to do exercises that were classed as high intensity for elderly like brisk walking and gardening this high intensity would resulted in loss of body fat (R=−0.296, p<0.01) whilst also increasing skeletal mass(R=0.238, p<0.05) slowing the process of sacropenia.
What conclusions can we take from this research?
The results concluded in the research that physical activity only had a positive influence on the Body Mass Index and fat free mass if individuals that followed the World Health Organisations guidelines of 30 minutes or more of physical activity a day. There was also a greater improvement of individuals that participated in high intensity exercise that resulted in a greater skeletal mass retention and this also improved scores on the Activities of Daily Living Scale.
The positive results of these are the increase on the daily living scale and independence that it will give the elderly. With more confidence it will allow the individuals the opportunity to get out more and keep moving even if it's to walk to the corner shop for milk and bread.
In the perfect would we would set the elderly is to approach 30 minutes of activity a day with 2 days a week utilizing strength exercises to slow the effects of sarcopenia. But in saying this all individuals are different and must be taken into account. This meaning that some individuals would benefit more from playing with the grandchildren by running around the backyard and picking them up whilst others could see the results just from sweeping the house daily, this would by no means see the same results through individuals but may slide them up the Activities of daily living scale and down the Body mass index.
For more information regarding topics discussed in the research article the following websites or articles may be of interest:
Department Of Veterans Affairs: Heart Health Program  The Heart Health Program runs for 12 month with two x one hour physical activity session a week plus one health educational seminar a month.
World Health Organisation: Physical Activity For 65 years and above 
- Relationships between leisure-time physical activity, obesity and disability in elderly men [internet]. Di Francesco, V., Zamboni, M., Zoico, E. et al. Aging Clin Exp Res (2005) 17: 201. doi:10.1007/BF03324597 [cited:25 Sept 2016]. Availaible from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF03324597
- Global recommendations on physical activity for health 65 years and above [internet] World Heath Organisations 2011. Available from: http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/recommendations65yearsold/en/
- Queensland Health Using BMI [internet] Queensland Government 2016. Available from: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/nutrition/resources/hphe_usingbmi.pdf
- Instrumental Activities of Daily Living [internet] Cromwell DA, Eagar K, Poulos RG. impairment in elderly community residents. J Clin Epidemiol. 2003;56(2):131-137 [cited 25 Sept 2016] Avaiable from: http://www.healthcare.uiowa.edu/igec/tools/function/lawtonbrody.pdf
- Department Of Veteran Affairs. [internet] Australain Government (2014) [cited 25 Sept 2016] Available From: http://www.dva.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/wellbeing/heart-health-programme