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The 2014 United States of Aging Survey finds Americans 60 and older report they are more motivated than the past two years to improve their health by exercising regularly and setting health goals – two simple steps which also relate to reported increases in optimism among seniors.
According to the third annual survey, more than one-third of seniors (37 percent) say they exercise every day, compared with 26 percent in 2013. For many seniors, high activity levels correspond to a positive perspective on life: seniors who exercise daily are much more likely than those who never exercise to say the past year of their life has been better than normal rather than worse (28 percent compared with 15 percent).
More than half of seniors (53 percent) report setting health goals in 2014, compared with 47 percent in 2013. Seniors who set health goals are more than twice as likely to think their overall quality of life will improve compared with those who did not set health goals (38 percent vs. 16 percent), and more than three times as likely to be confident their health will be better in future years (28 percent vs. 9 percent). The top three health goals set by seniors this year are eating healthier (37 percent), losing weight (30 percent) and living a more physically active lifestyle (24 percent).
The results of the 2014 survey are being released today at the 39th Annual n4a Conference & Tradeshow in Dallas as part of a larger effort led by n4a, NCOA, UnitedHealthcare and USA TODAY to examine seniors’ attitudes on a range of issues such as health, finances and community support. The United States of Aging Survey reveals insights on how U.S. seniors are preparing for their later years, and what communities can do to better support an increasing, longer-living senior population.