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Once in a while, you probably see an old person get on a bus or train and find yourself riled up at the fact no one is getting up to offer their seat.
It has become common courtesy to stand up and let them know your seat is free to sit in, as your young legs are far more stable to stand on. A lot of the time, because they're from a different generation and made of firmer stuff, they'll decline and happily stand.
That makes you feel bad, but a recent study claims that you shouldn't offer your seat anyway.
The report in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) claims that we should encourage activity from OAPs, as the elderly people taking it easy may have a worse impact on their health.
Experts from Oxford University and the UK's Centre for Ageing Better say that if the elderly are active and get exercise there's more chance that the doctors will be kept at bay.
"We need to be encouraging activity as we age - not telling people to put their feet up," Public Health England clinical adviser and Oxford professor Sir Muir Gray told The Sun. "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."
The total bill for social care for elderly per year is more than £100 billion, which obviously isn't their fault, but can be cut by them not being idle, the study claims.
Of course, if an OAP gets on public transport and clearly needs to sit down, then don't tell them it'll be good for them if they stand, offer them your chair. But if they don't look like they might keel over, think of this report.
The team further states that physical, mental and social activity could be more effective than drugs for conditions like dementia.
They wrote: "Encouraging recent research suggests that the key to reducing the incidence of dementia is unlikely to be any new drug but through encouraging activities that are important in keeping healthy and feeling well in the short term."
Then, talking about changing attitudes, they added: "Ensuring that as many people as possible maintain the ability to manage vital activities of daily living requires a cultural change so that it becomes normal to expect people of all ages to be active.
"The prevailing attitude that exercise is for young people while older people should be encouraged to relax needs to be challenged."
So, as weird as it sounds, you don't necessarily have to offer your bus seat to old people - apart from the obvious exceptions.
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