Speed It Up, over-65ers!
Health scientists at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institution are proposing a new metric by which to measure older people's likelihood of developing a range of medical problems, including lung and vascular diseases, degenerative arthritis, and such neurological ailments as Parkinson's Disease. Their warning sign: "dismobility," which is defined as a slow walking speed, meaning two feet per second or slower. The Center's report, just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found slow walking in persons over 65 to be a strong predictor of those and other age-related medical conditions. The report also offers an alarming estimate: that by 2040, around 15.5 million Americans aged 65 and over will be unable to walk further than three blocks.