Healthy Aging by the Numbers

Almost every day, I run across some facts and findings worth sharing with my clients to help them age well.  Below is a collection of a few to help raise your awareness and make you better equipped to manage your personal risk factors.

1.   Over 69% of adults in the United States over the age of 20 are overweight, 35.9% of those are obese.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm
2.    More than 50% of American adults do not practice healthy behaviors that can prevent obesity which in turn puts them at greater risks for developing heart disease & type 2 diabetes. http://www.cdc.gov/pdf/facts_about_obesity_in_the_united_states.pdf
3.    Being overweight (BMI – Body Mass Index – of 25-29.9) increases yearly health care costs by $125, while obesity (BMI of 30 and above) is associated with an average increase of $395 per year.  http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=6835
4.    Approximately 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and about 34 million are at risk for the disease but most people do not perceive themselves to be personally at risk for osteoporosis, even though one in two women and one in four men age 50 and older will experience an osteoporosis related fracture in their lifetime.  http://www.nof.org/learn/basics
5.    The fact that muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does makes muscle mass a key factor in weight loss. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/metabolism/WT00006/NSECTIONGROUP=2
6.     Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among older adults 73 and older and the second leading cause of death from ages 60-72. http://www.nsc.org/safety_home/Resources/Pages/Falls.aspx
7.    In the five to seven years following menopause, a woman can lose up to 20% of her bone density. http://nof.org/articles/235
8.    Six steps you can take to optimize bone health and help prevent osteoporosis are:

  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D and eat a well balanced diet.
  • Engage in weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises.
  • Eat foods that are good for bone health, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid smoking and limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day.
  • Talking to one’s healthcare professional about bone health
  • Bone density testing and medication when appropriate

http://www.nof.org
9.    Research shows that starting as early as 30 years of age, inactive adults will lose an average of 5 lbs of muscle mass per decade escalating to 10 lbs per decade by age 50. http://www.healthy.net/Health/Essay/Strength_Training_for_Seniors/742
10.    The Framingham Study on Physical Disability Among the Aging reported that 41% of women between the ages of 55-64 could not lift 10 pounds.
11.    Done regularly, strength training builds bone and muscle and helps to preserve strength, independence, and energy.

http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/growing_stronger/growing_stronger.pdf

12.    Strength training can also reduce the signs and symptoms of many diseases and chronic conditions in the following ways:

  • Arthritis—Reduces pain and stiffness, and increases strength and flexibility.
  • Diabetes—Improves glycemic control.
  • Osteoporosis—Builds bone density and reduces risk for falls.
  • Heart disease—Reduces cardiovascular risk by improving lipid profile and overall fitness.
  • Obesity—Increases metabolism, which helps burn more calories and helps with long-term weight control.
  • Back pain—Strengthens back and abdominal muscles to reduce stress on the spine.

http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/growing_stronger/growing_stronger.pdf

I bet you’ve heard some of these before. I’ll also bet there were a few chilling surprises!  Fortunately, it’s never too late to start an exercise program and action now on your part can help avoid problems later.  The question is, is it worth it to you to take action?

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This post was written by Patti on January 13, 2013

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