NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ — In honor of National Fitness Month, Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) from AARP is celebrating its growing community of older adults with a variety of free virtual classes, through its flagship Senior Planet program, aiming to help seniors flip the script on aging, get active, build strength and have fun while doing it. To cap off the month’s activities, Senior Planet will also host a virtual “Meet and Move,” where this year’s Senior Planet Sponsored Athletes will share their inspiring fitness journeys with older adults around the nation.
Now in its fourth year, the Senior Planet Sponsored Athlete Program highlights the remarkable athletic feats that older adults aged 60+ can accomplish – along with the importance of staying active and fit. This year’s Sponsored Athletes participate in weightlifting, pickleball, walking and more. Each Senior Planet Sponsored Athlete challenges outdated stereotypes about aging and fitness, while inspiring their peers to take the initial steps to improve their own health.
To keep the excitement and activities going throughout the month, Senior Planet will offer a number of health and wellness classes, including Morning Stretch, Fit Fusion Workout, Easy-to-Follow Tai Chi, Stronger Bones, Chair Yoga and Strength and Stability. Older adults across the nation can join free virtual exercise classes online at www.seniorplanet.org.
“We’re passionate about helping older adults get connected and stay active,” said OATS from AARP Executive Director Tom Kamber. “Senior Planet offers a wide range of free classes designed to offer something for everyone, from strength exercises that help build muscle to stretch classes that encourage flexibility. Our goal is to make fitness fun and approachable. In classes, older adults aren’t just building strength and confidence – they’re making friends, too.”
According to AARP, regular exercise could be essential to ensuring older adults maintain healthy and strong lives, from possibly stalling memory loss to helping people live longer. OATS is on a mission to help older adults make that happens with courses and programs that help them thrive in the modern age.
About OATS from AARP
OATS from AARP helps older adults learn to use and leverage technology to transform their lives and their communities. Through its flagship program, Senior Planet, OATS works closely with older adults to create extraordinary experiences in-person and online. As one of AARP’s charitable affiliates, the mission of OATS from AARP is “to harness the power of technology to change the way we age.” To learn more, visit www.oats.org or follow @OlderAdultsTech on social media.
SOURCE Older Adults Technology Services from AARP
Exploring the Healthiest Communities in the United States: California Counties Shine Bright
Discover how California’s Marin County leads the healthiest U.S. communities, boasting high life expectancy and low obesity rates in a recent study.
A recent study by MarketWatch has unveiled a list of the healthiest communities in the United States, with California counties claiming top spots. Marin County, nestled across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, emerged as the healthiest county, boasting a remarkable life expectancy of 85, a lower-than-average adult obesity rate, and a mere 5 percent of residents without health insurance.
The study evaluated 576 U.S. counties using 14 key metrics, including food insecurity, healthcare access, life expectancy, health insurance coverage, and environmental factors like water and air quality. Western states dominated the top 10 list, with Colorado, Hawaii, and Montana also showcasing exemplary county health profiles.
The findings emphasized a correlation between community health and wealth, with affluent areas exhibiting lower rates of food insecurity and higher levels of health insurance coverage. The presence of nature parks in many of the healthiest counties underscored the positive impact of green spaces on well-being, aligning with scientific research on the subject.
However, the study also shed light on disparities, highlighting that residents in the unhealthiest counties face challenges such as limited access to grocery stores, higher rates of food insecurity, and inadequate primary care services. Harris County, Texas, home to Houston, was identified as the least healthy county due to high uninsured rates and poor environmental quality.
In California, 37 out of 58 counties were ranked, with Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties clinching top positions. The data revealed a stark contrast in median incomes between the healthiest and unhealthiest counties, with Marin County boasting a median income well above the national average.
This comprehensive analysis serves as a valuable resource for policymakers and healthcare professionals striving to address disparities and promote well-being across communities. It underscores the importance of factors such as access to healthcare, environmental quality, and socioeconomic status in shaping overall community health outcomes.
New Study Identifies Increased Fracture Risk for Older Pickleball Players
SAN FRANCISCO /PRNewswire/ — Pickleball has become one of the fastest-growing sports in America, and with its increased popularity, the number of associated injuries has also risen. A new study presented at the 2024 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), “Trends in Pickleball- Related Fractures in the United States: An Analysis of the 2002-2022 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) Database” found that there was a 90-fold increase in fractures over the past 20 years and most occurred in players ages 60-69.
The Sports and Fitness Industry Association identified an 11.5% average annual growth rate of pickleball players over the past five years, with approximately 1.4 million “core” players (those who play more than eight times per year) in 2020.
“To date, there weren’t any studies with a detailed analysis of pickleball-related fractures,” said Yasmine Ghattas, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. “With paucity in the literature, we wanted to determine the risk factors and prevalence of demographic variables associated with more serious injuries such as fractures since these can lead to hospitalization and surgery.”
The research team used the Consumer Product Safety and Commission’s publicly available database, NEISS, to compare a sample of data from 2002 to 2022 to identify pickleball-related fracture trends, mechanisms of injuries, anatomic locations and gender distributions.
A highlight of findings from the study include:
- Throughout the study, there was a 90-fold increase in fractures, with a noticeable surge from 2020 onward where fractures doubled.
- The fractures most observed were of the upper extremity in women aged 65+ following a fall, potentially reflecting diminishing bone health of this postmenopausal population.
- Despite the female predominance in fractures, men were 2.3 times more likely to be admitted for a fracture. This may be a consequence of the anatomic locations and subsequent severity of their fracture which often included lower extremity fractures of the hip, femur and some truncal fractures.
- Interestingly, there were significant age differences in men who were discharged from the emergency room and admitted to the hospital, which was not found in women.
“Despite its reputation as a low-impact sport, pickleball can pose serious risk for players especially if they have weaker bones from osteoporosis,” said Kurt P. Spindler, MD, FAAOS, orthopaedic surgeon at Cleveland Clinic in Florida. “It’s important to understand your risk profile of injury and to speak with your physician to see how you can lower your risk. For example, if you know you’re at risk for weakened bones, it’s important to build your bone mass as you age with appropriate nutrients such as calcium and Vitamin D and choosing weightbearing activities.”
SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Sports Injuries in 65 and Older Significantly Increased Since 2012, Projected to Grow by 123% by 2040
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — According to new data presented at the 2024 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), sports injuries in seniors have increased significantly from 55,684 in 2012 to 93,221 in 2021 in the United States with significant differences in the types of activities and injuries. The study, “Orthopaedic Sports Injuries in an Aging Population: Currents Trends and Future Projections,” also projected a 123% increase in sports-related orthopaedic injuries in those ages 65 and older from 2021 to 2040 while the number of orthopaedic surgeons is only projected to increase by 7.9% during that same timeframe.
“In practice, we are seeing adults in their eighties and nineties participating in activities that weren’t previously of interest to them, such as pickleball,” said Jay Zaifman, MD, lead author and orthopaedic surgery resident, NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “One of the top findings from our research is a clear potential for disparity between the number of orthopaedic surgeons and the increasing need for treating older adults experiencing sports injuries. There are traditionally different protocols and treatments for this age group. We now need to consider the new higher demands of many of these patients. Taking a patient-centered approach and rethinking our standard of care for more active older adults is crucial.”
Through a retrospective cross-sectional epidemiological study, the researchers looked at sports-related injuries in patients 65 years and older between 2012-2021 in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) database. The NEISS collects data from 100 hospitals that act as a nationally representative probability sample of all U.S. hospitals with emergency rooms. Population estimates and projections were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, collecting projections through 2040. The Physician Compare Database was used to estimate the total number of orthopaedic surgeons in the U.S.
Highlights of the data include:
- Sports-related injuries in elderly became more common from 2012-2021 – There were an estimated 772,973 total sports-related injuries in seniors from 2012-2021, with a mean age of 73.0 and 45% of patients being female. There was a significant increase in the national incidence of sports-related orthopaedic injuries in the elderly from 134 per 100,000 people in 2012 to 167 per 100,000 people in 2021.
- 123% increase in sports-related injuries in the elderly by 2040 – It is projected that the total number of sports-related orthopaedic injuries will reach 137,852 by 2040, an increased rate of 4.7 injuries per 100,000 people per year. This shows that older people are getting injured more frequently during sports, they are participating in more sports and/or they are participating in different sports in which they are more likely to get injured.
- Demand for orthopaedic surgeons may outpace availability – The number of orthopaedic surgeons increased from 21,419 in 2016 to 22,206 in 2023, a 3.7% increase. The researchers projected 23,527 orthopaedic surgeons in 2040, which represents a large disparity based on the increased demand for orthopaedic surgeons.
- Higher participation in sports by elderly – A significantly higher proportion of injuries was associated with biking and scooters and less were associated with dancing and skiing in those 65 and older in 2021 than in 2012. This corresponds to an increase in the popularity of certain sports like cycling and higher participation rates among older adults.
- Elbow and upper leg injuries increasing – In 2021, there was a higher proportion of elderly sports-related injuries presenting to the emergency room to the elbow (5.3% vs. 3.2%) and upper leg (4.2% vs. 2.1%) than in 2012.
- Higher rates of fractures – Fractures, hematomas and avulsions were more common injuries in emergency rooms in 2021 than 2012, while strains/sprains and lacerations were less common.
To account for the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on sports-related activities, 2012 was compared to 2019, which showed proportionally less skiing-related injuries and more upper leg and spine injuries than in 2012. Strains/sprains and lacerations were also less common in 2019 than in 2012.
“While we don’t have the data on this, we can extrapolate that it is very unlikely there were actually fewer sprains and strains that occurred in 2021 when compared to 2012,” said Dr. Zaifman. “The patients may be going to their primary care doctor or they’re seeing an outpatient orthopaedic surgeon for these injuries. Perhaps they are more aware that this isn’t an emergent injury, or they’re better educated on the proper location for treatment. It was emergent injuries like fractures that were presenting to the emergency room.”
For information on injury prevention and seniors exercise programs, visit OrthoInfo.org.
SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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