More than 1.4 billion adults are putting themselves at heightened risk of deadly diseases by not getting enough exercise, doctors are warning, with global activity levels virtually unchanged in nearly two decades.
With richer nations enjoying an increasingly comfortable, sedentary lifestyle, a study by the World Health Organization said a third of women and a quarter of men worldwide are in the firing line for killer conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer unless they up their physical activity.
Leading doctors said the number of people with a heart “older” than their actual age was “really alarming” and should spur people to quit smoking, eat better and exercise more. The revelation reflects in part Britain’s high levels of obesity and physical inactivity and previously high smoking rate.
Almost four-fifths (78%) of more than 1.9 million people in England who have taken Public Health England’s new online “heart age test” were found to have a heart that was older than their chronological age.
A third (34%) of those who answered the 16-question survey turned out to have a heart age that was at least five years above their actual age, while for one in seven (14%), it was at least 10 years higher.
Normally I don’t put too much stock in socialist studies and findings. These, however, fit with the trends. Note: I took the survey and found it a little off – though my heart age, by their standards, coincides with my actual age. Good enough.
Also, we know that physical condition and mental condition are somewhat related. So, it’s interesting the way the following story was contexted: Cognitive Power Peaks in Autumn.
Human cognitive powers have a seasonal rhythm, and for those living in temperate regions in the northern hemisphere they are strongest in late summer and early autumn. The effect is large enough to tip some older people over the diagnostic threshold for dementia if their cognitive tests are carried out in winter or spring.
Andrew Lim, a neurologist at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre at the University of Toronto, and his colleagues analysed data from 3500 participants aged 60 or over. All of them had undergone tests …
I’ve known this, about myself, for about two decades. Mentally, I get more done in the mid to late fall. This, in miniature, mirrors the boost to IQ usually experienced in the mid 20’s (maybe +5%). Some facets of mental prowess may increase around age 60, just in time for the afore-noted conditions to set in.
It’s interesting, given the demographic changes in aging populations, that they framed the study in terms of dementia rather than peak power for the younger generations. Either way, in a week or two you should feel a little smarter. Use it to arrest the disease risk. That will stave off many conditions – possibly to include dementia. This is a self-feeding loop. Work it, folks.