Walking Is A Powerful Indicator Of Vigor And Frailty, Pope Benedict Pooped Out On His Feet

"His age is wearing on him. At this age, my brother wants to rest more," USA TODAY quotes Pope Benedict's brother Georg Ratzinger, 89.
Geriatric specialists leaped in with their facts: "My sense is that he is having a lot of difficulty walking. The brain, the spinal cord, the nerves, the heart, muscles and bones are all needed to walk well," said Stephanie Studenski, director of geriatric research at the University of Pittsburgh.

Her research has found faster walking is associated with longer survival among older adults and has been shown to reflect health and function. She hopes people in their 80s who can still perambulate with good functioning limbs will not step down from their jobs and responsibilities because of the age onus.
"I've seen plenty of men who, in their 80s and 90s , if they're fit, they go on and on, and are practically immortal until they start to have a problem." To quote Thomas Perls, professor of medicine at the Boston Medical Center.

Sitting for long periods on planes can increase the risk for thrombosis of the legs, Perls says. Pope Benedict XVI had recently been advised to discontinue trans-Atlantic flights. Deep, venous thrombosis occurs when a blood clot embeds in the deep veins of the lower legs, thighs or pelvis.

The message is clear: too much sitting will whittle strength from one's legs and arms. Keeping active as long as possible avoids confronting health problems in late life.