On April 7, 2013, World Health Day will focus on the causes and
consequences of high blood pressure. Yet in a national survey of more
than 500 Americans age 50 to 65, Liberty
Life Assurance Company of Boston, a Liberty Mutual Insurance
company, found that while 77 percent of baby boomers rate their physical
health as good or excellent and 50 percent feel as healthy as they did
five years ago, less than half (46 percent) are exercising at least
three times a week.
Although exercise is only one indicator of an individual's overall
health and well-being, three-quarters of those surveyed said they
considered physical fitness very important to them. When asked how baby
boomers could transform their confident attitudes toward well-being into
actual behaviors, Liberty Life's longevity expert and medical director,
Dr. Alison Moy, outlined five key changes that can make all the
1. Be proactive. "Don't wait until you feel sick to forge a
meaningful relationship with your doctor," said Dr. Moy. "Know your key
health numbers like body weight, waist circumference, blood pressure,
blood glucose and cholesterol. Ask your doctor about using
self-monitoring tools such as wearable devices and smart phone
applications to track your progress toward improving your health
2. Be social. Many self-monitoring tools will connect to social
media or online communities - allowing baby boomers to share their
fitness accomplishments with others. "Studies have shown that people who
network and receive support for reaching goals are more likely to
achieve sustained success," Dr. Moy explained.
3. Be attentive. For years, experts have advised reading food
labels and avoiding foods with ingredients you can't pronounce. Today,
tools such as NuVl® make it even easier to gauge the nutritional value
of packaged food. NuVal® assesses 30 food ingredients and weighs the
amount of "good" ingredients, such as vitamins, fiber and iron, against
the "bad" ingredients, such as fat, sodium and sugar - assigning each
food a score. The higher the score, the better the product's nutrition.
"Choosing unsweetened shredded wheat with a score of 91 at breakfast
over an English Muffin with score of 21 can help you start the day on a
healthy path," said Dr. Moy.
4. Be realistic. Make behavior changes specific and
accomplishable - start small and build up to success. "For example,
instead of setting a goal to work out at the gym daily, start by taking
the stairs at work, not the elevator," said Dr. Moy.
5. Be happy. Bring a positive attitude to every situation you
face. "Research has found that personality and outlook can play a role
in how long people live. A study in the Journal of Aging found
that people who reach 100 have several personality traits in common
including high conscientiousness, openness to experience and a positive
outlook on life," said Dr. Moy.¹
To help baby boomers reach their unique fitness goals and ambitions,
Liberty Life has created an online resource, Be
Well for Life?. Curated by Dr. Moy, Be Well for Life?
distills practical information and commonsense tips needed to live a
longer, healthier life.
An infographic on the results is available.
About Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston's Survey
Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston surveyed pre-retirement age
baby boomers to gauge their perceptions about their physical health and
well-being and their preparations for retirement. The survey was
conducted online in November 2012 by ORC International and surveyed a
total of 501 Americans aged 50 to 65.
About Liberty Mutual Insurance
"Helping people live safer, more secure lives" since 1912, Boston-based
Liberty Mutual Insurance is a diversified global insurer and the third
largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2011 direct
premiums written as reported by the National Association of Insurance
Liberty Mutual Insurance also ranks 84th on the Fortune 100 list of
largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2011 revenue. As of December
31, 2012, Liberty Mutual Insurance had $120.1 billion in consolidated
assets, $101.5 billion in consolidated liabilities, and $36.9 billion in
annual consolidated revenue.
Liberty Mutual Insurance offers a wide range of insurance products and
services, including personal automobile, homeowners, workers
compensation, property, commercial automobile, general liability, global
specialty, group disability, group life, reinsurance, surety, individual
life and annuity products. Liberty Mutual Insurance (www.libertymutualinsurance.com)
employs over 50,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.
Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston
Home Office: Boston, Mass.
1. Chapman, Benjamin P, et al: Personality and longevity:
knowns, unknowns, and implications for public health and personalized
medicine. Journal of Aging Research; 2011: 1-24.
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