Flexibility, activity important as Georgia’s population ages

The CDC says fall-related deaths have risen 41% since 2012.
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 10:41 PM EDT
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STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Physical therapist Dr. Taylor Adkins sees patients of all ages come through her doors.

“My oldest patient right now is 90,” she said.

It’s part of a common pattern of clients.

“We’re definitely trending towards an older population,” she added.

It’s no secret that the world is getting older. By 2030, over one-sixth of the population in the U.S. and around the world will be over 60.

With age comes a loss of mobility and strength. Those losses often accelerate after a fall.

“So, for anyone over the age of 65, if you’ve had a fall, the mortality rate within one year is significantly higher,” Adkins said.

The numbers back up the claim. The CDC says fall-related deaths have increased by 41% over the past decade. The culprits are often a lack of strength and balance.

So, how can you stave off decline before or after the fall? The answer lies under your roof.

Adkins recommends four basic exercises: chair squats, object deadlifts, balancing on one leg for at least 10 seconds at a time, and torso rotations.

These simple exercises can provide major benefits when done routinely.

Adkins also recommends getting at least 7,500 steps per day.

“Even if you’re just sitting at home, you can get up, move around, and get to that number of steps by cleaning your house and walking around throughout the day,” she said.

In the end, any exercise that gets you off the couch is good and doesn’t have to involve heavy weights or long runs.

As you age, you can aim for a different kind of gold in your golden years.

“There’s a lot at risk, and we want to ensure we’re keeping people healthy and safe,” Adkins said.