Vol. 13 •Issue 9 • Page 10

Older Adults Changing Fitness Landscape Older adults are reshaping the fitness industry, a national survey suggests. The 2005 SUPERSTUDY of Sports Participation determined that the number of frequent fitness activity participants 55 years and older rose by 33% between 1998 and 2004, compared with a growth rate of only 13% for people ages 35 to 54.

Even the 1-year change in activity participation was significant. Between 2003 and 2004, the number of people 55 or older who participated in a single fitness activity jumped 15%. The study determined that the most significant growth from 1998 to 2004 occurred in activities well suited for most older adults: Pilates training (506%), elliptical motion training (306%), yoga and tai chi (118%) and recumbent cycling (66%).

The SUPERSTUDY of Sports Participation is conducted annually by American Sports Data Inc. and is sponsored by the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association and the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. The 2005 survey sample consisted of 25,000 U.S. residents and drew 14,684 qualified responses. Health clubs and sporting goods manufacturers use the data to purchase or create equipment and plan activities that will meet the needs and interests of people who exercise. You can use the data to emphasize that exercise is indeed a realistic option for your older patients.

Two articles in this year’s Geriatric Focus Issue zero in on why physical activity is essential to healthy aging. Carisa R. Huggins, NP, and her coauthors examine the need for physical activity — along with other health promotion activities — in the frail older population. Even patients who are nonambulatory can work on improving fitness and the many health markers it influences.

Barbara Resnick, NP, a recognized expert on exercise for older adults, takes the discussion further by providing practical tips for motivating this population to achieve improved fitness. She offers detailed evidence about the benefits of exercise for older adults and provides helpful charts outlining which medical issues contraindicate certain types of activity.

In other specialized geriatric coverage in this issue, our CE article by Ruth M. Kleinpell, NP, explores the problem of sepsis in older adults and provides recommendations from the Surviving Sepsis Campaign. And Irina A. Lidow, NP, and Norma L. Rawlings, NP, outline current issues in the diagnosis and management of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Rounding out our peer-reviewed content are articles on prenatal smoking cessation and medical issues associated with drug and alcohol addiction.

Remember to participate in the National Salary Survey of Nurse Practitioners, the most comprehensive national study of nurse practitioner income trends. Visit www.advanceweb.com/np to complete the survey online and be entered in a drawing for $100. Or complete the hard copy (page 15) and follow the fax or mailing instructions on the form. The deadline for survey participation is Oct. 31.

–Michelle Perron Pronsati