Aging Into Disability

Baby Boomers Have Poorer Health Than Parents

We are entering the age where Baby Boomers, the people who were born between 1946 and 1964 (right immediately after such wars as World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War), are preparing to enter retirement. Yet, there is evidence showing that they may enter retirement in poorer health than their parents.


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Boomers are healthier in some ways than their parents. They are less likely to smoke, for example–but they often describe themselves as not being that healthy in many surveys.

They often state that they have difficulty climbing stairs, getting out of a chair, and doing normal, everyday activities. They also state that they suffer more from chronic problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.

One notable trend that is emerging with Baby Boomers is the propensity to be overweight and even obese. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight; this extra weight causes people’s joints to suffer more wear and tear than earlier generations.

In addition, this extra weight causes bad cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels to skyrocket because the body is forced to work harder. These factors lead overweight people to encounter a greater risk of experiencing more serious health problems.

5 Little Known Secrets to Healthy AgingWhile it was assumed that the higher number of gym memberships would lead to Baby Boomers being in better physical shape than earlier generations, the data suggests otherwise.

The likely reason why Baby Boomers seem to be in poorer shape despite the increase in gym memberships is because Boomers often have desk jobs that require them to sit all day at a desk answering phones and working at their computers, with little physical activity done throughout much of the day.

Add in the fact that many Boomers have a good deal of time in the car, commuting from home to work and back again, and much of the day results in sitting with little physical activity.

Many think that Baby Boomers are largely those who went to college and earned degrees, thus leading to them being more knowledgeable about health and fitness, including the need to stay physically active. However, not all Baby Boomers went to college, and even those that did aren’t always staying physically active, thus leading to the poorer health trend seen amongst them.

It doesn’t help that Boomers report having more stress than earlier generations. Many Boomers work two jobs, thus cutting down on free time to relax. In addition, there has been more job insecurity, due to the downturn in the economy and the trend of businesses to cut back on the number of positions and the number of hours offered, as well as the tendency to hire younger, cheaper labor.

All of the stated reasons above are the key reasons why Baby Boomers are entering retirement less healthy than their parents and previous generations.

Add in the fact that Boomers aren’t getting as much physical activity during the day as earlier generations, and they are suffering more debilitating conditions and diseases as a result.

By taking note of the above, you can take the necessary steps to ensure that you are in good shape as you enter your retirement.

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