In honor of National Physical Therapy Month and as part of the “Fit After 50” campaign, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and MoveForwardPT.com partnered with Huff/Post50 to determine the “Top 10 Fittest Baby Boomer Cities in America. They collected data on the 50 largest metro areas of the US and identified the top 10 cities best suited for people aged 50 and older who want to live in environments that promote healthy, active lifestyles.
Congratulations to Seattle! The City has been named #8 on the list of Fittest Baby Boomer Cities in America.
Seattle achieved a health and fitness score near the 80th percentile and a lifestyle score near the 70th percentile, proving itself one of the best cities for healthy, active older adults. Here are some important facts the research uncovered about The Emerald City:
- The percentage of Boomers with health insurance is 91.
- Diagnosed cases of hypertension (approximately 47.8%) are 5% lower than the average for all 50 cities researched.
- Diagnosed cases of cardiac disease (3.1%) are lower than the 3.87% average for all 50 cities researched.
- Seattle has the second highest per capita spending for parks among the top 10 cities.
- The percentage of the population that has been diagnosed with high cholesterol is 51.8, 0.1% above the average for the 50 cities reviewed and the highest rate of the top 10 cities.
- Seattle has the highest hospital mortality rate among the top 10 cities, 4.025% above the national average.
APTA member Alicia Randoph, PT, ECS, a local physical therapist at Northlake Physical Therapy, wasn’t surprised her city made the top 10 list.
"There's no question that when it comes to Boomer health, Seattle is one of the leading cities in the US," said Randolph. "Boomers are transforming how we traditionally think of aging by staying mobile, and physical therapists are helping them do that."
Randolph recommends Seattle Boomers continue to focus on fitness and exercise and talk to a physical therapist if they have any questions or concerns. Here are some tips:
- Regular physical activity can improve bone density, posture, heart and lung function, muscle strength, joint function, sleep, and memory, among many other things. In addition, getting toned often gives you a more youthful appearance.
- Sticking with a physical activity plan lowers your risk for certain health conditions, such as fractures, falls, depression, certain cancers, stroke, hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes.
- Physical therapists support national guidelines, which recommend that you make aerobic, strengthening, flexibility, and balance activities regular components of your physical activity program. MoveForwardPT.com has more tips on staying active, fit, and healthy; to learn which exercises are right for you and your lifestyle; and to find a physical therapist near you.
- In all 50 states and the District of Columbia, you can make an appointment to be evaluated by a physical therapist directly, without a physician referral.