The latest annual report from Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England examines the health of people aged between 50 and 70 (broadly, people born between 1945 and 1964). One of the central conclusions drawn from this body of evidence is that remaining in work, volunteering or joining a community group appears to be beneficial in helping people stay physically and mentally active.
Baby boomers should ‘stay in work to keep healthy’. London: BBC Health News, December 8th 2016.
Health of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. London: Department of Health, December 8th 2016.
This relates to:
Annual report of the Chief Medical Officer 2015: on the state of the public’s health. Baby boomers: fit for the future. London: Department of Health, December 2016.
“There is promising evidence that the continued social engagement that some people find in employment may defer the onset of cognitive decline and the risk of dementia. Currently, more than 40,000 people in the UK who are under the age of 65 are estimated to be living with dementia, many of whom can continue to work with appropriate support and reasonable adjustment… The potential loss to business from the impact of dementia on employees is estimated to rise from £628 million to £1.16 billion by 2030”. (p.37)
A little on dementia risk factors:
“Although dementia remains very rare below age 70 (for example, there is a 1% prevalence at age 65), it is increasingly recognised that many of the key environmental risk factors for dementia begin exerting their effects in the preceding two decades, that is when people are 50–70 years old. These include vascular risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and hypercholesterolaemia, all of which have been found to occur more frequently in people with mental disorders. There is also evidence that worse mental health, particularly symptoms of stress or depression reported 10–20 years before the onset of dementia (that is, predominantly in 50–70-year-olds), are potentially direct risk factors”. (p.126)
See further, the NHS Choices commentary:
Report looks at the health of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, December 9th 2016.
Boredom Avoidance: On the Universal Need for Purpose in Maintaining Self Worth?
Boredom, considered as the absence of meaningful activity and occupation:
Bantwal, P. (2016). Existence of boredom among the elderly: the need to further explore the concept. Journal of Geriatric Care and Research. December 2016, 3(2): 49-50.
Public Health England’s Health Survey for England / One You Campaign
A Public Health England survey indicates that middle-aged people in England are increasingly likely to experience health crises – such as diabetes and dementia – because of unhealthy lifestyles.
“Eight in every 10 people aged 40 to 60 in England are overweight, drink too much or get too little exercise”.
‘Middle age health crisis’ warning. London: BBC Health News, December 28th 2016.
Possibly also of interest:
Being unfit at 40 ‘accelerates brain ageing’. London: BBC Health News, February 11th 2016.