Monographie

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Growing older, staying well : ageing and physical activity
Geneva : World health organization, Ageing and health Programme, 1998, 19 p.

http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/1998/WHO_HPR_AHE_98.1.pdf (20/07/2006)
Format de fichier : Adobe Acrobat PDF
Droits d'auteur : Cette oeuvre est protégée par un droit d'auteur. Elle ne peut être reproduite qu'à des fins d'études privées ou de recherche et seulement si la source est mentionnée.

Mots-clés principaux
:
Activité physique
Bien-être
Activité de la vie quotidienne
Santé
Vieillissement normal


Résumé :

Ageing is an integral, natural part of life. The way in which we grow old and experience this process, our health and functional ability all depend not only on our genetic makeup, but also (and importantly) on what we have done during our lives; on what sort of things we have encountered in the course of our lifetime; on how and where we have lived our lives. Lifespan is defined as the maximum survival potential for a particular species. In human beings, the lifespan is thought to be about 110 to 115 years (Matteson 1988). Life expectancy, then, is defined as the average observed years of life from birth or any stated age. Despite recent developments, the basic biological mechanisms involved in the ageing process remain largely unknown. What we do know is that: 1) ageing is common to all members of any given species; 2) ageing is progressive; and 3) ageing involves deleterious mechanisms that affect our capacity to perform a number of functions. Ageing is a highly complex and variable phenomenon. Not only do organisms of the same species age at different rates, but the rate of ageing varies within the single organism of any given species. The reasons for this are not fully known. Some theorists argue that individuals are born with a particular amount of vitality - the ability to sustain life - which continually diminishes with advancing age. Environmental factors also mediate the length of life and time of death (Dychtwald 1986). With the process of ageing, most organs undergo a decline in functional capacity and in their ability to maintain homeostasis. Ageing is a slow but dynamic process which involves many internal and external influences, including genetic programming and physical and social environments (Matteson 1988). Ageing is a lifelong process. It is multidimensional and multidirectional in the sense that there is variability in the rate and direction of change (gains and losses) in different characteristics for each individual and between individuals. Each period of life is important. Thus it follows that ageing should be viewed from a life course perspective.

Earlier in the history of humankind, mobility was an essential part of survival: hunting for food, avoiding dangers, self-defence - all involved and required movement. Today, most daily activities have been delegated to machines: the length of the stride required today is shorter than it used to be, the amount of strength required in hands and arms is less. A number of things which previously obliged people to go out - shopping or paying bills, for example - can today be done from the comfort of the home. There are fewer things in everyday life which necessitate physical activity. However, since it is recognized that some activity is nonetheless necessary, some people try to meet this need through organized exercise. This sort of "artificial" activity does not appeal to all. Some people feel it is awkward and not worth the trouble; others feel they do not have the time to spare.

Langue : Anglais
Type d'ouvrage AQESSS : MONO
Doc n° : 14941
NumRec : 1494103
 

       

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