(HealthDay News) — Structured physical activity may prevent poor sleep quality in older adults, according to a study published online June 26 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Carlos A. Vaz Fragoso, MD, from Veterans Affairs Connecticut in West Haven, and colleagues assessed the effect of structured physical activity vs. health education on sleep-wake behaviors in previously sedentary community-dwelling elderly adults with mobility limitations (mean age 79 years; 67% female). Sleep-wake behaviors were evaluated at baseline and at six, 18, and 30 months.

The researchers found that, compared to health education, structured physical activity resulted in a significantly lower likelihood of having poor sleep quality (as measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index) and fewer new cases of poor sleep quality. However, the intervention did not affect the resolution of prevalent cases.

“These results suggest that the benefit of physical activity in this sample was preventive,” the authors write.

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