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

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"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.


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

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