CDC: Over a Quarter of 50 to 64 Year-Old Americans Don't Exercise

Inactivity boosts risk for falls, broken bones, serious disease, and early death, CDC warns
Inactivity boosts risk for falls, broken bones, serious disease, and early death, CDC warns

HealthDay News — More than one-quarter of Americans over 50 don't exercise, increasing their risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, according to research published in the September 16 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers analyzed results of a 2014 national survey about health, focusing on people aged 50 and older. Inactivity was defined as moving around only to accomplish routine daily duties. Based on that definition, 31 million older Americans are inactive – 29.4% of women and 25.5% of men. 

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One-third of Hispanics and blacks were inactive (32.7 and 33.1%, respectively), compared with 26.2% of whites and 27.1% of people in other racial and ethnic groups. Age was also a factor: 35.3% of people aged 75 and older were inactive, as were 26.9% of those between 65 and 74, and 25.4% of those aged 50 to 64. Southerners were least likely to exercise: 30.1% were inactive. In comparison, 28.4% of older people in the Midwest, 26.6% in the Northeast, and 23.1% in the West were inactive. Colorado had the most active older Americans, with 82.1% getting daily exercise. People in Arkansas were the least active, with only 61.2% getting daily exercise.

"More work is needed to make it safer and easier for people of all ages and abilities to be physically active in their communities," lead author Kathleen Watson, PhD, an epidemiologist in the CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, said in a CDC news release.

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