England’s Chief Medical Officer has published a report on the health of adults aged 50-70, also known as the ‘baby boomers’. In 2014, 8% of the total population in England were aged 75 and over, this number is expected to rise to 13.1% by 2039.
While this generation benefits from advances made in life expectancy and mortality reduction, there are several opportunities for health improvement. Lifestyle factors such as physical activity and tobacco consumption, modifiable risk factors such as obesity and overweight are all relevant considerations.
Data on the lifestyles of this generation are presented in the report revealing that physical activity levels were low in this generation, and they are less active than those of the same age ten years ago.
•Sixty-five percent of Baby Boomers had not engaged in any moderate physical activity lasting 30 minutes or longer in the preceding month.
•Baby boomers in 2013 were less active than people of the same age ten years previously.
•Only 28% performed at least four 30 minute moderate intensity sessions a month, equivalent to one a week.
•Men were slightly more active than women: 30% of men participated in four or more moderate physical activity sessions a month compared with 27% of women.
•Clear age gradients, with 36% of men aged 49-54 doing at least four 30 minute sessions a month compared with 27% of those aged 65-69.
•Clear gradient according to socio-economic classification. 39% of men in managerial and professional occupations performed at least four 30 minute sessions a month compared with 17% of those in semi-routine and routine occupations.
•Nearly half of baby boomer men and over a third of baby boomer women were overweight.
The data outlined above is from the Health Survey for England, 2013, the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (2012/13) and Active People Survey.
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