PHIT America medical professionals and doctors have issued a list of solutions to combat issues of physical inactivity in response to a study that suggests life expectancy has dropped for the first time in 20 years — which the organization believes is a result of the inactivity pandemic.
The study outlined that for children born in 2016, their life expectancy has dropped from 78.9 years to 78.8 years. For the average man, his life expectancy has fallen from 76.5 years to 76.3 years. For women, their life span is also on the decline – going from 81.3 years to 81.2 years.
Below are PHIT’s reasons and solutions to potentially confronting the drop in life expectance within the U.S.
ISSUE: Physical Inactivity Is Deadly – “When schools started cutting physical education, it started the physical inactivity ‘time bomb.’ Our schools are no longer teaching the core principles of physical activity which were always taught in P.E. It is worth noting that the World Health Organization lists physical inactivity as the 4th leading cause of death in the world, ahead of obesity and being overweight. – Dr. Jordan Metzl, sports medicine doctor, New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery
SOLUTION: We Need P.E. in Schools — “It’s vital that we put daily P.E. back in our schools – for all students from K-12. There are two ways children get active – at home in their neighborhoods with friends/family and what they learn and develop in schools. Putting daily, quality P.E. programs back in our schools is the best way to introduce all children to the fun and benefits of being physically active. And, exercise helps children perform better academically, as well.” – Dr. Jordan Metzl, MD, Sports Medicine Doctor, New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery
ISSUE: Inactivity Is Simply Unhealthy — “Lack of movement leads to both physical and mental deterioration.” – James O. Hill, Professor of Pediatrics & Medicine, Director Center for Human Nutrition, Director of the Colorado Clinical Nutrition Research Unit
SOLUTION: Physical Activity for a Lifetime — “Americans are not getting enough physical activity. That will change with a lifetime of exercise that starts at a young age, with daily physical education in our schools.” – Dr. Tim Church, Professor, Pennington Biomedical, Louisiana State University
ISSUE: U.S. Is a Sick Care Society — “Right now, the health care system in the U.S. is largely a sick care program. It’s vital to emphasize true health care via prevention. Exercise for all Americans and daily P.E. in schools for children are great and affordable forms of prevention.” — Dr. Liz Joy, Adjunct Professor, Family & Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine
SOLUTION: Prevention Is Powerful — “We must shift the focus of health care from chronic disease management to the prevention of chronic diseases, like diabetes and high blood pressure. To that end, we must put more emphasis on promoting regular physical activity, healthy eating, adequate sleep, and stress management – and put less on the use of medicine and surgeries. Physical activity must become a major national priority. Health care systems and providers need to play a key role. Exercise for all Americans and daily P.E. in schools for children are great and affordable forms of prevention.” — Dr. Liz Joy, Adjunct Professor, Family & Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine
ISSUE: Poor Dietary Choices — “Americans are simply eating too much unhealthy food, which contributes to obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.” – Dr. Tim Church, Professor, Pennington Biomedical, Louisiana State University
SOLUTION: Sweat To Survive — “We need a physically active America and it’s vital that we get people moving. Physical activity will help overcome four major causes of death – high blood pressure, high blood glucose, obesity and high cholesterol.” — Dr. Steven Blair, professor (retired), Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina
ISSUE: Stress Is Deadly — “Stress is a key killer. Stress reduces life expectancy, but exercise is a great way to counter stress.” – Dr. Carrie Jaworski, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine
SOLUTION: Get Physically Active — “As a nation, we must change our health care program to be focused on prevention. We must put more emphasis on reducing the chance of sickness and health care issues by emphasizing exercise for all Americans. Physical activity is a powerful form of prevention and should become a major national priority. Also, we need Congress to pass pro physical activity legislation – like the PHIT Act. The PHIT Act will let Americans better control their health care costs with a financial incentive to exercise.” – Dr. Carrie Jaworski, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
“It’s abundantly clear that when people don’t exercise, their health suffers,” said Jim Baugh, Founder, PHIT America. “And, when people do exercise and lead physically active lives, their health thrives, which increases their life expectancy and their quality of life.”