Older women encouraged to stay physically active

Females have been advised to remain physically active as they get older.

According to Dr Timothy Church, women start to lose muscle mass after they reach the age of 50 - which is typically a time when people become more sedentary.

However, he told Reuters it is not known which one comes first and admitted this remains a debate that could continue "forever".

As a result, he believes remaining physically active could help to improve the health of females aged over 50, as well as their quality of life.

Dr Church was speaking after a study by Lisa Tseng of the University of Pittsburgh attributed the drop in muscle and bone mass in older women partly to the onset of the menopause.

The study said there is "something going on" when a female's years of fertility come to an end, with a definite "connection between menopause and the physical limitations women perceive themselves as having".