Updated: Apr 29
Life Space is the size of the spatial area of one’s life ( bedroom, home, neighborhood; town, and distant location)
Life space mobility= mobility behavior in the context of one’s environment
As we get older our life space mobility and life space reduce due to many factors like falls; depression, fear of falling; urinary incontinence; fractures many other complex conditions contributing and having a cumulative effect to restricting the life space.
Imagine the game of darts, our living space is like a ring of circles and the wider area keeps getting narrower as we get older that is from community bound to homebound and then ultimately bedbound.
How do we increase our life space or at least maintain it?
Li Tang Tsai and colleagues objectively measured the life space and concluded that more time spent walking outdoors and moderate physical activity help maintain life space.
Use of an accelerometer- counting the number of steps per day, 7,500 steps are associated with all reduced mortality rates.
The more steps per day we take the closer we are too good health and bogger space of life.
Engaging in moderate intensity physical activity; WHO recommends 150 minutes/ week of moderate intensity physical acitvity OR 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity.
Joining community classes , a local gymn, YMCA help maintain our strength, mobility , balance and function.
Get evaluated by a physical therapist who can assess for balance strength or mobility deficits , make a treatment plan to optimize your function and address any concerns that may cause to restrict or limit the life space.
Live life king size and keep life king size.
1) Paluch AE, Gabriel KP, Fulton JE, Lewis CE, Schreiner PJ, Sternfeld B, Sidney S, Siddique J, Whitaker KM, Carnethon MR. Steps per Day and All-Cause Mortality in Middle-aged Adults in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Sep 1;4(9):e2124516. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.24516. PMID: 34477847; PMCID: PMC8417757.Tsai LT, Rantakokko M, Rantanen T, Viljanen A, Kauppinen M, Portegijs E.
2) Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Changes in Life-Space Mobility Among Older People. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016 Nov;71(11):1466-1471. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glw042. Epub 2016 Mar 14. PMID: 26975981.
Written By:- Pooja Mehta, PT, CEEAA, Board Certified Geriatric specialist.