Fragmented physical activity, but not total daily activity, was significantly associated with death, the researchers found. For each 10% higher degree of activity fragmentation, mortality risk was 49% greater. The duration of physical activity also mattered: Participants who frequently engaged in short bouts of activity of less than five minutes were more likely to die than those whose activity bouts lasted five minutes or longer. These associations held after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index and other factors.
Daily physical activity, which benefits health and quality of life, typically decreases in older adults. A new study shows that higher fragmentation of that activity — more transitions from activity to sedentariness — may be a better indicator of risk of death than a person’s overall level of physical activity.
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, analyzed data from the NIA-supported Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), looking at a week’s worth of minute-by-minute physical activity for 548 healthy participants age 65 and older (average age, 76).
“Senior citizens today are healthier, more engaged, and working longer than past generations,” says Chamberlain. “A ‘gray wave’ of senior citizens will be impacting the workforce in coming years, both in the United States and the United Kingdom.”
Mature employees and job seekers bring a vast skillset and tremendous experience to open jobs, combined with a strong professional network that rivals any social-media-savvy Gen Zer. And despite the preconceptions of older workers, reports show they are just as open to learning and development as their young peers.
Move over, Gen Z and Millennials. The Baby Boomer generation, those born between 1944 and 1964, are the fastest-growing segment of the labor force in the U.S. and they are catching the eye of recruiters in every industry.
According to Glassdoor’s Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain in the newly released “Job & Hiring Trends 2020” report, the 65+ demographic is working longer than past generations and shows no signs of retiring for good.
“The results we saw were stunning and suggest that holistically addressing aging via gene therapy could be more effective than the piecemeal approach that currently exists,” said first author Noah Davidsohn, a former research scientist at the Wyss Institute and HMS who is now chief technology officer of Rejuvenate Bio. “Everyone wants to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible, and this study is a first step toward reducing the suffering caused by debilitating diseases.”
New research from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School (HMS) suggests that it may be possible someday to tend to multiple ailments with one treatment.
The study was conducted in the lab of Wyss core faculty member George Church as part of Davidsohn’s postdoctoral research into the genetics of aging. Davidsohn, Church, and their co-authors homed in on three genes that had been shown to confer increased health and lifespan benefits in mice that were genetically engineered to overexpress them: FGF21, sTGFβR2, and αKlotho. They hypothesized that providing extra copies of those genes to nonengineered mice via gene therapy would similarly combat age-related diseases and bring health benefits.
Being with people at the end of life is very intense work. You are regularly seeing a part of life that a lot of people don’t see, or see very rarely. How do you feel that affects your relationships generally and your friendship specifically?
People become frightened at the end of life. Sometimes I see them moving away from friends as they get sicker. Once people get past that fear of what’s going on, they can be friends again.
Every week, The Friendship Files features a conversation between The Atlantic’s Julie Beck and two or more friends, exploring the history and significance of their relationship.
This week, she talks with two women who met through the nontheistic religion of Ethical Culture and have spent a significant amount of time ministering to aging and dying members of their congregation. They discuss how friendship changes at the end of life, and how they work to foster connection and community for members of all ages.
Leaving nothing to chance, the Cavners are making a number of modifications they might never need. For instance, neither uses a wheelchair, but contractors are making all doorways 3 feet wide for accessibility throughout — just in case. The master bath roll-in shower, flat and rimless, will provide room to maneuver and the master bath vanity is also at wheelchair-accessible height. Kitchen drawers, rather than cabinets, will allow easy access in a wheelchair. The Cavners are closely watching details of the renovation, but it wasn’t a hard decision.
AUSTIN, Texas — Chris and Dennis Cavner, in their early 70s, are preparing to move less than two blocks away into a 2,720-square-foot, ranch-style house they bought this year. But first a renovation is underway, taking the 45-year-old property all the way back to its studs. When the work is completed, these baby boomers are confident the move will land them in their forever home.
“We wanted to find a house that we could live in literally for the rest of our lives,” he said. “We were looking specifically for a one-story house — and one that had a flat lot, to age in place.”
From an Aeon.co online article by Bioethicist Joona Räsänen:
Age change should be allowed when the following three conditions are met. First, the person is at risk of being discriminated against because of age. Second, the person’s body and mind are in better shape than would be expected based on the person’s chronological age (that is, the person is biologically younger than he is chronologically). Third, the person does not feel that his legal age is befitting.
Let’s say that on average you are in better shape than other people of your age. You are more able than them: quicker, sprightlier, livelier. You feel and identify as younger than your official age. However, despite all your youthful energy, you are also discriminated against because of your greater age. You cannot get a job – or, if you do, you might earn less than some of your younger coworkers simply due to your advanced years. The question is, should you be allowed to change your ‘official’ age in order to avoid this discrimination and to better match how you identify and feel?