Washington DC: Ladies, you may want to ditch a sedentary lifestyle if you want to live your middle age healthily as a new study has linked inactivity with hot flashes and more at midlife.
Sedentary middle-aged Hispanic women in Latin America have significantly worse menopause symptoms than their active counterparts, shows the study of more than 6,000 women across Latin America. The analysis also linked sedentary lifestyle with depression, anxiety, insomnia and obesity.
The study analyzed data from the Collaborative Group for Research of the Climacteric in Latin America surveys and health records of 6,079 women, ages 40 to 59, who attended one of 20 urban health centers in 11 Latin American countries.
A sedentary lifestyle was very common, reported by 64 percent of the women. And the following statistically significant contrasts between the sedentary women and active women stood out: Some 16 percent of the sedentary women had severe menopause symptoms compared with 11 percent of the active women.
The sedentary women also had higher total menopause scores, and more of them had any of the individual symptoms than the active women did. The sedentary women were also more likely to be obese and to have higher scores on the depression, anxiety, and insomnia scales.
Results of studies of the ability of exercise to reduce menopause symptoms have been conflicting, but this study adds some weight to the exercise side of the equation.
Less menopause misery is just one of the positive impacts of being active for women at midlife, emphasizes NAMS Executive Director JoAnn V. Pinkerton.
The study appears in Menopause.