It may seem convenient to have your groceries delivered straight to your door.
But not carrying your own shopping bags is ruining your muscles, according to physiotherapists.
Those who rely on delivery vans to bring their weekly food supply are stripped of vital muscle-strengthening exercises.
These activities help adults stay fit and healthy in old age, preventing potentially serious falls and other health issues.
Not carrying your own shopping bags is ruining your muscles, according to physiotherapists
Professor Karen Middleton, who is the chief executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, has blamed the rise of online shopping.
She said: ‘Online shopping may be very convenient but it does mean that we are losing some of the methods that used to exist for strengthening our muscles.
‘We’re carrying fewer bags home from the supermarket because it arrives at our door.
‘We’re also waiting at home for other goods to be delivered when in the past we would have gone out to buy them. This isn’t an argument against progress.
‘It’s just to show that maintaining strength and being active doesn’t have to mean going to the gym, and we should look for ways to build it into our everyday lives.’
The rise of online shopping
The proportion of people who do all their grocery shopping online has doubled in two years with the rise of same day delivery.
The figure rose from 7per cent in 2014 to 14per cent – one in seven – in Britain last year, The Mail reported earlier this year. Around a quarter of American households currently buy some groceries online,
EAT STEAK WELL DONE, SAY EXPERTS
Eating steak rare prevents senior citizens from absorbing all the protein they need, according to research earlier this week.
Elderly volunteers took in far fewer key amino acids – building blocks for protein – when the meat was under-cooked, compared to when they ate well-done steaks.
Young people are able to digest rare and well done meat in the same way, note the researchers from the French National Institute for Agricultiural Research.
But the digestive systems in older people struggle to break down protein in rare meat. Plus, it is thought we get less nutrients from raw than cooked meats.
The findings suggest that people over 65 should eat their beef well done to get the most protein from a meal.
As we grow older, our skeletal muscles tend to wither and weaken, a phenomenon known as sarcopenia.
NHS guidelines suggest people do two strengthening sessions a week, such as exercising with weights, or lifting and carrying heavy loads such as groceries.
For people aged 65 and over, the sessions can also include activities that involve stepping and jumping, such as dancing.
Professor Middleton said people should not think that becoming weaker and frailer was an inevitable part of getting older.
She added: ‘As the guidelines set out, it doesn’t mean immediately hitting the gym to lift weights.
‘To start, it can be digging in the garden or simple body-weight exercises like standing up out of a chair 10 times.
‘There are easy ways to do it but the essential thing is to get started and these poll results show a lot of work needs to be done to get that message out.’
The dangers of weak muscles
Scientists have previously found that failing muscle power could be linked to Alzheimer’s disease in older adults.
While links between a lack of muscle and arthritis are more established and have been touched upon by scientists for decades.
Professor Middelton’s comments come on the back of a survey of 2,000 people to highlight how many pensioners are at risk of falls.
They discovered that 24 per cent of adults over the age of 65 do no strengthening activities all week.