Standup citizens know that if you see a senior board the bus or train, you immediately get up and offer them your seat.
But according to health experts, we shouldn't be giving up our seat for the elderly on public transportation — rather, we should just stay put.
Yeah, we're a bit wary about this advice too, but hear us out.
As reported by The Independent, experts claim that offering your seat to seniors on public transport can hamper their health. Instead, they should be "encouraged to stand and discouraged from taking it easy in order to keep themselves fit," advises Sir Muir Gray, a professor at Oxford.
Think twice before giving up your seat on the bus or train to an older person. Standing up is great exercise for them.
Gray, a clinical adviser to Public Health England, recently explained that the elderly should walk for at least ten minutes a day.
"We need to be encouraging activity as we age — not telling people to put their feet up," Gray told the British Medical Journal. "Don't get a stairlift for your ageing parents, put in a second banister.
"And think twice before giving up your seat on the bus or train to an older person. Standing up is great exercise for them."
A new report in The BMJ advises older people to stay active, as it can reduce the need for social care and allow them to live more independently.
In the report, researchers say the effects of ageing are often confused with the loss of fitness, when it's really the lack of fitness that ages them, adding to them needing more care.
A lot of illness in later life is not due to older age, but inactivity.
Middle aged and older people "can increase their fitness level to that of an average person a decade younger by regular exercise," Scarlett McNally, an orthopaedic surgeon at Eastbourne District General Hospital in the U.K., noted.
"The more exercise we do the better."
This piece of advice matches previous research conducted on the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
A study published earlier this year noted that too much sitting and not enough physical activity can age cells by up to eight years. And previous research has already linked too much sitting to health problems such as obesity, higher levels of "bad" cholesterol, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Aladdin Shadyab, lead study author, noted, "Discussions about the benefits of exercise should start when we are young, and physical activity should continue to be part of our daily lives as we get older, even at 80 years old."
Discussions about the benefits of exercise should start when we are young.
However, we still think it's important to offer your seat to a senior, especially if they're using walkers, canes, or any type of support to help them walk, or if they clearly need to sit down. And if they ask if they can take your seat, you should absolutely give your seat up.
If you know someone who's older than 60, you should actively (heh) encourage them to get, well, more active.
Some top exercises that will make seniors feel young again include:
- Bicep curls
More on HuffPost: