Moving around a lot, even if it's just for a short time each day, has been linked to lower death rates from all causes and a lower chance of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other conditions that come with getting older.
Doctors from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently published a study in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.
This study looked at three main connections: how mobility affected income, how mobility affected income over time, and whether exercise could help older people keep their mobility.
Researchers asked more than 19,000 people how well they could do simple tasks like walking a few blocks, climbing several flights of stairs, or moving around a room.
The researchers found that people lost an average of $3,000 a year in income compared to their peers for every level of movement that went down. Activity-based people were also much more likely to stay at work longer than the other group.
When you look at earnings over time, you can see that people who stayed busy throughout their lives got even bigger benefits. The average income of active people was $6,500 higher, and they were also more likely to be working.
This study doesn't prove for sure that living a healthy life will make you more money, but it does highly suggest that staying healthy and mobile has benefits beyond just lowering the risk of disease, which is a form of wealth in and of itself.
Lindsey A. Criswell, M.D., M.P.H., NIAMS Director, states: "We have long known that greater mobility is an important sign of good health..." Mobility's economic benefits support the health benefits of exercise and an active lifestyle.