Meeting Recommended Activity Guidelines: How Pickleball Benefits Older Adults

According to the results of a pilot study, older individuals have met their weekly recommended levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity by playing pickleball.

Researchers sought to ascertain whether older individuals who played pickleball were engaging in sufficient moderate to high intensity physical activity for cardiovascular health.

This pilot study presents objective evidence supporting pickleball participation as an activity which helps increase physical activity levels among older individuals, meeting CDC recommendations.

Researchers tracked the physical activity of 33 adults aged 65 years or older who played pickleball at least twice each week for at least two weeks using Fitbits to track both steps and physical activity intensity.

Averagely, days that involved pickleball resulted in 3,477 more steps taken on average and more time being dedicated to “fairly active” or “very active” physical activities.

On average, each session of pickleball resulted in over 68 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity with 3 increased heart rate zones covered for an average pickleball session lasting 86.77 minutes on average.

There are three essential components of healthy aging. Physical health is of utmost importance and participants in moderate to vigorous physical activities should strive to remain physically active, particularly those which increase heart rates – commonly referred to as moderate to vigorous activity. Furthermore, building and maintaining social connections as well as psychological health benefits include life satisfaction and feelings of well-being are also integral parts of successful aging.

Concerning physical activity, the CDC advises older individuals to get 150 to 300 minutes of weekly moderate intensity activity and 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week. Pickleball was instrumental in helping most individuals meet these recommendations during this study.

Researchers conducted studies that focused solely on pickleball activity versus daily physical activity and found that participation in pickleball enabled most individuals to meet CDC recommendations for health. Pickleball participation allowed many of them to reach this threshold of healthiness.

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