Baby Boomers living longer but in worse shape than their parents.

According to a recent study baby boomers are less likely to see themselves as being in excellent health and exercise regularly than the same age group 20 years earlier.

Scary Health-Care Statistics on the Broken-Down Boomer Generation – Businessweek

At first I was puzzled by this report because I’ve heard for years about how far modern medicine has gone towards increasing our life span. What I hadn’t considered was that longevity and health don’t always equal the same thing.

An organization that represents the insurance industry says that in the last 5 years applications for disability and SSI have increased and while some of this is to be blamed on the rough economy some of it is also real declines in health.

Most striking to me were the jump in high cholesterol levels – more than doubled from 34% to 74%, use of a cane or other walking aid – more than doubled from 3.3 to 6.9%, and obesity up 10% to almost 4 out of every 10 boomers. All this is accompanied by a marked decrease in regular exercise and increase in alcohol consumption.

So while it’s true that modern medicine has gained tremendous ground in the fight against disease it seems that our LIFESTYLES, are robbing us of the ability to truly enjoy those added years.