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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

Do You Measure Up?

Published July 28, 2010 11:49 AM by Rebecca Mayer

A pitiful 3 percent of 153,000 respondents in a study by Michigan State University met the characteristics of a healthy lifestyle. According to the study, a healthy lifestyle is defined by four basic standards:

  • Not smoking
  • Holding weight down
  • Eating right
  • Exercising

So 97 percent of the roughly 307 million people living in the United States do not follow this basic outline for a healthy lifestyle. Shocking, isn't it?

Plain and simple, the study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine indicated that most Americans don't do everything they can to lead a healthy lifestyle. The study was released in 2005, but my guess is that things have not improved on this front in the meantime.

Individuals in poor health miss more time at work, enjoy less quality recreational time, and live shorter life spans than their healthy counterparts. This results in an increase in preventable illnesses and a greater financial burden on an already challenged healthcare system.

The good news is that all of these lifestyle changes are reversible and not at a great cost in time or money. Aside from having more energy and generally feeling better, research shows that practicing a healthy lifestyle will lower one's risk for cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and cancer.

Do you live a healthy lifestyle? If not, what can you do right now to make changes?


This is where we debate on whether companies mandate employees to "health - up" and stop smoking, and start eating better and offering exercise rooms.  Also insurance companies could potential stop us from recieving insurance if we do the unhealthly acts.  The other difficulty with this is that genetics can play a big part on our healthiness as an individual.  If you look at George Burns and his lifestyle, why did he live so long?  Some may simply be predisposed to cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease as well.  

If companies go with the BMI - it will not be accurate.  A body builder who is 6 foot weighing in at 300 pounds has a BMI of 40.7 - obese class III according to the chart.  

Jason Marketti July 31, 2010 4:09 PM

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July 28, 2010 1:01 PM

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