Navigation Links
Active seniors curb health care costs
Date:2/14/2008

Group Health seniors are not only sweating to the oldies in local health clubs. They are also keeping health care costs down, according to a study by researchers at Group Health and the University of Washington (UW). The study appears in the January 2008 issue of the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

The research found long-term total health care costs grew more slowly for older Group Health patients who regularly used their "SilverSneakers" health club benefit. Group Health members age 65 and older can choose either or both of two activity programs: EnhanceFitness®; or SilverSneakers, which includes access to a health club and free physical activity classes geared to seniors' needs.

"Physical activity can help seniors improve their balance to prevent falls; boost cardiovascular health to prevent heart attacks; and improve overall metabolism to help delay diabetes onset and complication of diabetes," said study co-author Dr. James LoGerfo, a professor of medicine and health services at the UW and an affiliate investigator at the Group Health Center for Health Studies.

The researchers studied nearly 5,000 senior Group Health patients who participated in SilverSneakers. More than 9,000 control patients were matched to participants by age and sex. By year two, compared with control participants, SilverSneakers participants had significantly fewer inpatient admissions and lower total health care costs.

Lorraine and Jack Swisher of Bellevue are Group Health members and regulars at the Bellevue Family YMCA SilverSneakers. Age 73 and 75, respectively, they both have chronic conditions and believe their increased physical activity has let them stay healthy and save their funds to travel to Antarctica, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, and go on a recent safari in Africa. Granted, few seniors are quite as active—or well-traveled—as the Swishers, but the researchers said that all people can benefit from regular physical activity.

"The class is a very social time for everyone, plus it helps me with my balance and flexibility," said Lorraine. "The exercises can be adapted to any ability, and you can easily practice them while traveling or at home."

Dr. Huong Q. Nguyen, assistant professor of biobehavioral nursing systems at the UW, is the study's lead author. She stresses the important takeaway from this study is for older adults, especially on fixed incomes, to remain active and incorporate physical activity in their lives for many reasons, including cutting down on unexpected health care costs. The other important message is for health plans that offer such physical activity benefits to have mechanisms in place that support wide adoption and consistent use by senior members.

"Silver Sneakers is one of the few programs that health plans can offer which have been shown to benefit their senior population, said LoGerfo. "Another is EnhanceFitness, a program for seniors available locally in community and senior centers around Puget Sound and Spokane. The program focuses on simple exercises that build not only flexibility and aerobic fitness but also balance and strength, which are the most important elements for preventing falls." Group Health offers both programs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Katie McCarthy
mccarthy.kx@ghc.org
206-793-6552
Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Many Older Americans Have Active Sex Lives
2. More than two-thirds of sexually active NYC youth use condoms, but other forms of birth control lag
3. Schwablearning.Org Launches Interactive Tool to Help Parents of Children Struggling in School
4. Human C-reactive protein regulates myeloma tumor cell growth and survival
5. National Movement Disorders Interactive Experience Center Comes to Tampa Bay for First Time
6. Figure Skater Peggy Fleming Teams with HealthSaver: Raise Healthy Children Through Active Parenting
7. A New Interactive Consumer Experience Highlighting Successful Weight Loss Strategies is Coming to a Mall Near You
8. PDL BioPharma to Actively Seek Sale of Entire Company or Its Key Assets
9. Strawberry Consumption Associated with C-Reactive Protein Among Women: New Harvard Study
10. Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Men with chronic heart failure can have active sex lives
11. Inside job: new radioactive agents for colon cancer work inside cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many ... dementia. However, many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the ... 90-day elimination period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, so the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many ... event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids ... of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a ... has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services ... accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and ... for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Wis. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... standard products to meet the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. ... of probiotic experts and tested to meet the highest standard. , These ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received ... Mobile  — a medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for ... aims to transform technology into a clinical solution to support the ... costs. Innovative Design ... NDS ZeroWire Mobile Wireless Solution ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza vaccination ... is helping communities across Massachusetts , Connecticut ... flu shots through the end of the month. *Some exclusions ... ... shot is by the end of October, according to the Centers for ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 Halo Labs announces the European ... system called the HORIZON at MIBio 2017 in Cambridge, ... and visible particulate matter in biopharmaceutical samples with unprecedented speed and ... the novel technique Backgrounded Membrane Imaging. ... The HORIZON subvisible particle analysis system ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: