According to the University of Otago, up to 1 in 3 New Zealanders suffer from back pain on any given day, causing them discomfort, decreased mobility, and a reduced quality of life – not to mention hundreds of millions of dollars spent in health care.
The Fountain of Youth lies in Exercise! Last weekend, I attended the NZ Association of Musculoskeletal Medicine scientific meeting. The theme for the gathering was “Busted Boomers” – which sounds a bit dire but actually the common thread was that so many problems in later life are preventable. It’s all about what we do throughout our lives, including as very young children that will broadly determine our quality of life into retirement.
I attended an event hosted by the Neurological Foundation last month aimed at educating the public on Alzheimer’s prevention. The Foundation invited a world leader in the field, Professor Gary Small from UCLA, to speak on the subject. Dementia is a major challenge to the health sector today, it is more of a burden on society than cancer and heart disease combined. About 10% of people over the age of 65 will develop dementia, and today there are 40,000 people in NZ suffering with this illness.