CHICAGO, September 15, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Lifestyle improvements not only improve the health and life expectancy prospects of younger adults, but also have a significant impact on life after retirement, according to a study conducted by the Vitality for the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Research Institute became. The study “Maximizing Health Span: A Literature Review on the Impact of a Healthy Lifestyle on Retirement” examines the most important health interventions that enable not only a longer but also a healthy life.
While people live longer on average, the number of healthy years has lagged, resulting in “health margins”. This research underscores the critical role that mainstream interventions play in bridging this gap, including prevention activities (including but not limited to vaccines and screenings), condition management, physical activity, and diet. The literature review also looks at the limits of research on healthy aging, from easing aging to the increasing use of technology in prevention and health promotion.
“For many, retirement is no longer viewed as the conclusion of a first chapter but as an integral second half of life that is full of opportunity, provided that individuals can maintain their health and finances,” said Daniel Kotzen, Director, Product & Analytics, for the Vitality Group, a global health and wellness company committed to human health. “Incorporating robust interventions for modifiable risk factors benefits employers, health insurers, and society as a whole by reducing healthcare costs and the need for long-term care in retirement.”
Issues related to healthy aging identified in the analysis include:
- The five risk factors with the greatest effects on health and longevity, according to the report, are tobacco use, high body mass index, high fasting plasma glucose, nutritional risks, and high blood pressure. It is important that these dimensions can be changed or controlled through condition management and a generally healthy lifestyle. Not only are these risk factors major causes of poor health in individuals, but they also account for 35% of US health care spending for those 65 and over. Interventions that modify this behavior not only benefit the health of the individual, but also serve to minimize health costs in retirement.
- Aside from these risk factors, there is also solid evidence of the positive impact of preventive screenings that enable early intervention and vaccinations that really emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Fortunately, aging science is an area of active research and opportunities that focus on community engagement, cognitive health, and others are gaining increasing attention to not only increase healthy life expectancy, but also a bigger goal and independence in later years.
- Achieving healthy aging requires a multi-faceted approach – including recognizing and reducing health inequalities and the important role employers and governments play in ensuring that older people can thrive in their communities.
The study underscores the central role that modifiable risk factors play in health outcomes, not just before retirement but well beyond age 65. With the aging US population, there is an urgent need for accessible and effective interventions that go well beyond the individual. It means removing barriers to access to health promoting activities; the robust use of technology to enable healthy behavior and ensure that people can age on the spot if they choose to; Creation of jobs that nurture and value the important contributions of older adults working past the traditional retirement age; and creating healthy and safe community environments to promote healthy aging on a wider scale. With such a multi-faceted approach, individuals, employers, and insurers can all share in the value of longer, healthier, and ideally, more purposeful lives for people.
About Vitality Group
Guided by the primary goal of making people healthier, Vitality leads the way in improving health to achieve important results. By combining industry-leading intelligent technology, data, incentives and behavioral research, we inspire healthy change in individuals and their organizations. As one of the largest wellness companies in the world, Vitality brings a dynamic and diverse perspective through successful partnerships with the most future-oriented insurers and employers. More than 20 million people in 30 markets take part in the Vitality program. For more information, visit vitalitygroup.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
SOURCE vitality group