|Sitting too much can lead to an early death.|
This week's post contains some of the fascinating statistics Time provided about people in the U.S. over the age of 45.
Time Magazine's Statistics about Senior Citizens
* Since 2003, there has been an 11 percent increase in the number of people over age 75 who are married.
* 57 percent of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 admit they spend 7 hours or more a day being sedentary.
* Sedentary behavior, specifically sitting all day, is a risk factor for earlier death.
* 45 percent of Americans between the ages of 45 and 64 exercise three or more times a week (which means that 55 percent do not get exercise at least three times a week.)
* 47 percent of Americans over the age of 75 take five or more prescription drugs every day.
* 29 percent of Americans ages 65 to 69 still work for pay.
* Since 2000, only one Alzheimer's drug has been approved, out of 244 that have been tested.
* "Diet is by far the most powerful intervention in delaying aging and age-related diseases," according to Valter Longo, director of the University of Southern California's Longevity Institute. Their research shows that when people periodically fast, they lower their risk factors for age-related diseases.
* When people were put on a low-calorie, low-protein diet for five days a week, with approximately 34% to 54% fewer calories than was normal for them, after three months they had lower rates of aging, diabetes, heart disease, blood sugar, and cancer.
* Cancer risk increases about 400% for Americans who get 20% or more of their calories from protein, compared to people who get only about 10% of their calories from protein.
* Mindfulness meditation reduces stress and appears to slow biological aging by stabilizing your telomeres.
* A 2011 study published in "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" revealed that older people who reported they were the least happy died at almost twice the rate in the next five years as people who reported they were the most happy. Happier people also retained their physical functions, such as walking speed, longer.
* Social Security is the sole source of income for one in four recipients. By 2033, payroll taxes at the current rate will only be enough to pay 77 percent of promised benefits. One possible solution is raising or removing the cap on annual earnings that are subject to the Social Security tax. The limit is currently $118,500. (Some smaller actions have already been taken to save Social Security, such as eliminating the file and suspend option.)
Summary of the Time Magazine Findings
If you wanted to sum up the statistics about senior citizens in America today, it would boil down to the fact that each of us needs to eat less food, particularly less protein, exercise more, meditate more and cultivate a more positive outlook on life. Saving additional money towards retirement would be a good idea, too.
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