According to a new federal report, more than one-quarter of U.S. citizens that are more than 50 years old aren’t getting the recommended amount of exercise. The overall inactivity in their lives leads to increased risk for various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart ailments.
Janet Fulton, the co-author of the study and the chief of the Physical Activity and Health Branch at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that any amount of physical activity can help adults maintain their health. In order to create vibrant and healthier communities inactive individuals need to be encouraged to have physically active lifestyles.
During the current study the results obtained from a 2014 national survey was analyzed by researchers. The said survey was about health. It focused on individuals who were aged 50 and older. For research purposes actions that were done in order to fulfill daily tasks were considered as ‘inactivity’. The results of the current study showed that 31 million of older U.S. citizens were inactive. A total of 29% were women while approximately 26% were men. The findings also showed that about one-third of blacks and Hispanics led inactive lifestyles. The results were in comparison with 27% of people belonging to other ethnic and racial groups, and 26% of white individuals.
According to the results of the current study, the level of exercise decreased as U.S. citizens grew older. A total of 37% of individuals that were aged 75 and older showed inactivity. While 27% of individuals that were aged between 65-74 years showed inactivity, and a total of 25% of individuals aged between 50-64 showed inactive lifestyles. Going further into the statistics, Southerners were found to be the least likely group of individuals to exercise. Approximately 30% of Southerners were found to lead inactive lifestyles. Compared to these numbers, inactivity was shown in 28% older individuals from the Middle West, 23% in the West, and 27% individuals living in the Northeast.
When it came to active communities, Colorado was observed to have the most active U.S. citizens. About 82% of older individuals exercised on a daily basis. People living in Arkansas were found to be the most inactive. According to the report, only 61% of them exercised on a daily basis.
Further results from the current research showed that people who already weighed a few extra pounds had a reduced likelihood of being active. However, people who received more education were far more likely to lead active lifestyles. Individuals suffering from chronic disease were found to be quite inactive, about 32%, compared to individuals who didn’t suffer from such ailments, about 19%.
According to the CDC, an active lifestyle can help increase a person’s lifespan and also reduce the risk of certain heart diseases, dementia, type 2 diabetes and even some kinds of cancer. In older individuals, daily exercise can help to lessen the risk of broken bones and accidental falls.
The lead author of the current study and an epidemiologist in the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, Kathleen Watson, said that a lot of work is required in order to make exercising easier and safer for individuals of all ages in a community.
Experts recommend that people should at least receive 30 minutes of exercise five times a week in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.