June 8, 2023

We’ve all heard that staying active is good for our health, to prevent anything from heart disease to obesity and everything in between.

But did you know staying physically active can also benefit your hearing?

So now you have one more reason to get out and get active: your hearing!

The Science

The NIA (National Institute of Aging) has conducted several studies in recent years looking at the connection between hearing loss and physical activity vs sedentary lifestyles. The results showed that adults with hearing loss are generally more sedentary overall, and physical function may worsen faster than those without hearing loss.

After attaching tracking devices to people with normal hearing, slight hearing loss and moderate to severe hearing loss, the researchers found that people with more hearing loss were more sedentary for an average of about 34 more minutes per day than their counterparts with better hearing.

34 minutes of activity doesn’t sound like a lot, but it adds up! If you want to have better overall health and better hearing, try taking a walk or bike ride around your neighborhood every day. Just about 30 minutes of additional movement per day could make all the difference for you!

Another study of about 3000 people between the ages of 71 and 94 found a high correlation between physical function and hearing as well. They concluded that worsening physical function seems to be associated with worsening hearing loss as we age.

Yet another study discovered that people with hearing aids tended to have better walking ability and physical function, which then led to more mobility and movement, and better hearing as a result of that.

The key takeaway is that quality of life, health and quality of hearing are all tied up with physical activity and remaining active as we grow older.

What Can You Do?

There is plenty you can do to ensure your hearing is preserved and your health stays

  • Get Moving! Any movement where you raise your heart rate and blood circulation is great, and if you like what you are doing that’s the  most sustainable. If you love to walk around the mall with friends or bike around the neighborhood, or just do an exercise routine by yourself in your home–any movement is great!
  • Brain Training. Our brains are just as involved as our ears in hearing and understanding what we hear, so training our brains to listen can be really helpful for our hearing abilities and staving off dementia or cognitive decline. Try reading along with audiobooks, or with a friend or family member, or reading the subtitles/closed captions on the TV as you listen along.
  • Consider Hearing Aids. A yearly hearing evaluation can go a long way to help you assess your hearing ability and compare it to the year before. Hearing exams are quick, easy and so helpful for having a baseline to compare your hearing next year.

The first step to improving your listening skills is to recognize the issue. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.

Diablo Hearing Services  2301 Camino Ramon, STE 106 San Ramon CA94583 (925) 394-4646

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