New research indicates that young people can lose a third of their muscular strength, leaving them on par with a person who is 40-to-50 years older, after just two weeks of inactivity.
The Center for Healthy Aging and the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen conducted the research. They examined what happens to the muscles in younger and older men when their legs were immobilized with a leg pad.
Both older and younger people lose muscular strength
“Our experiments reveal that inactivity affects the muscular strength in young and older men equally. Having had one leg immobilized for two weeks, young people lose up to a third of their muscular strength, while older people lose approximately one fourth,” says Andreas Vigelsø, PhD at the Center for Healthy Aging and the Department of Biomedical Sciencesat the University of Copenhagen. In addition, young people lose twice as much muscle mass.