Japan is facing the demographic time bomb faster than any other nation. With a median age of 45 years, they have more older adults with fewer younger adults than anywhere else in the world. Ohtake, et al 2013 began to analyze the thresholds for long-term care, falls and other signs of aging.
They divided a population of 196 into activity and inactive. The exercise groups received twice a week sessions of 4 stretches, 6 strength exercises and 2 balance exercises. They were analyzed for activities of daily living, the timed up and go test, the functional reach test, the sit and reach test, and a psycho-social questionnaire was also completed.
After 8 weeks, 7 people dropped out of the exercise group (and 9 from the inactive group). The exercise group demonstrated improved reach testing and active daily living. Their social questionnaires showed improved self-efficacy.
Clearly, for very little investment we can keep our seniors independent longer.