According to the results of a pilot study, a small group of older individuals achieved the recommended weekly amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity playing pickleball.
The researchers wanted to know whether older individuals playing pickleball were engaging in activity of moderate to high intensity sufficient to achieve the level essential for cardiovascular health.
This pilot study presents objective data that support participation in pickleball as an activity that helps promote physical activity in older individuals and helps them meet CDC recommendations.
They tracked the physical activity of 33 people ages 65 and older, and they played pickleball at least twice a week. Their steps were tracked as well as their physical activity intensity over 2 weeks using Fitbits.
An average of 3,477 more steps were taken on pickleball game days, and more time was also devoted to « fairly active » and « very active » physical activity.
On average, over 68 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity were achieved in each session playing pickleball. An average session of pickleball also averaged 86.77 minutes in 3 increased heart rate zones in an average session.
There are 3 factors needed to age healthily. Number 1 is physical health and maintaining not only physical activity but also participation in physical activity in which your heart rate is increased, otherwise known as moderate to vigorous physical activity. There are also benefits from making and maintaining social connections and the psychological health that comes with life satisfaction and a feeling of well-being.
In regards to physical activity, the CDC recommends that older people get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week. Participation in pickleball was the reason most people met the physical activity recommendations in this study.
The researchers isolated their pickleball activity to daily activity, and the main finding was that pickleballing was the only reason most people met the CDC’s recommendations. Participating in pickleball was what helped them reach that threshold.
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