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 Raleigh! The city has been named #10 on the list of Fittest Baby Boomer Cities in America.
Raleigh achieved both a lifestyle score and health and fitness score above the 70th percentile, proving itself one of the best cities for healthy, active older adults. Here are some important facts the research discovered about the City of Oaks:
- The number of diagnosed cases of hypertension (approximately 48%) is 4.8% lower than the average for all 50 cities reviewed.
- Among the top 10 cities, Raleigh has one of the lowest hospital mortality rates, more than 6% below the national average.
- Diagnosed cases of high cholesterol (48%) are 3.7% lower than the average for the 50 cities researched.
- Of the top 10 cities, Raleigh’s population is most satisfied with life, with 97% reporting being "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their lives.
- The percentage of Boomers who have health insurance is 87.8.
- The percentage of diagnosed cases of cardiac disease (4.22%) is the highest among the top 10 cities.
- Raleigh has 29 gyms and fitness centers and 187 sports equipment retailers.
APTA member Jason Harloff, PT, MS, LAT, ATC, a local physical therapist and co-owner of Sports and More Physical Therapy, Inc, wasn't surprised his city made the top 10 list.
"There's no question that when it comes to Boomer health, Raleigh is one of the leading cities in the US," said Harloff. Boomers are transforming how we traditionally think of aging by staying mobile, and physical therapists are helping them do that. Raleigh has a great opportunity to improve Boomer health by developing more fitness centers and encouraging Boomers to continue to stay active.
Harloff recommends Raleigh 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.