Health and Aging


A driving theme of the work conducted at the Columbia Aging Center is health and understanding the conditions that promote normal versus pathological aging.  Specifically, how do we maintain and extend both healthspan and cognitive functioning in the face of age-related declines. Our other core themes, work and culture, are indissociable from the domain of health given how the significant effects of behavior, attitudes, and healthy environments can have on our well-being.


In health, our research community has led the field -- from defining frailty to examining the role that mitochondria and the changing endocrine system play in human aging. Researchers are also asking how physical activity and cognitive fitness are related. Evidence suggests that aerobic exercise reactivates areas of the brain that have undergone age-related decline.To learn more, please click here


Seeking to apply our knowledge about the environments that promote healthy aging, we develop policies and programs with the express goal of increasing healthspan to pair with our longer lives. We know that promoting the creation of opportunities for purposeful engagement in work and volunteerism leads to improved cognition and health. This understanding is the evidence-based premise of our faculty's initiatives like Experience Corps and the Age Smart Employer Awards.