Report: One in Four Americans over 50 is Inactive

By David Sampson

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data on the prevalence of physical inactivity among adults age 50 years and older. Inactivity is defined as no activity beyond what one has to do just to get through the day (activities of daily living). When asked a�?During the past month, other than your regular job, did you participate in any physical activities or exercises such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking for exercise?a�?, 27.5% of the adults surveyed responded a�?no’ a�� indicating that more than one in four adults 50 and over are inactive.

The prevalence of inactivity varied by region. It was highest in the South (30.1%), followed by the Midwest (28.4%), Northeast (26.6%), and West (23.1%). The survey also found that inactivity was significantly higher for women, Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks, and adults with one or more chronic diseases. Inactivity for cancer survivors was reported at just 31.6%.

We asked Colleen Doyle, MS, RD, managing director of nutrition and physical activity at the American Cancer Society for her take on the new data.

a�?This report is a wake-up call and quite literally a a�?call to action.’ Being physically active reduces the risk of premature death and can help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including cancer. Physical activity also helps support improvements in quality of life and healthy aging. While we’ve known that the level of physical inactivity among adults is far too high, this report underscores the fact that inactivity is highest among those who could benefit the most from it.

a�?Adults with at least one chronic condition were more likely to be sedentary than those without a chronic condition. In the case of cancer, more than 31% of cancer survivors reported getting no physical activity outside of daily life. Studies have shown …read more

Source:: American Cancer Society