NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Tivity Health® (Nasdaq: TVTY) announced the results of a new study published in the journal Quality of Life Research, which found that increasing frequency of participation in a fitness program improves physical and mental health for older adults. The longitudinal study surveyed 46,564 members of SilverSneakers®, the nation's leading community fitness program for older Americans, over a seven-year period. The study tested how the health of SilverSneakers members was impacted by how many times each week they participated in the SilverSneakers program, using three standard industry measurement scales of physical and mental health.
When SilverSneakers members increased the frequency of their participation in physical activity programs over time, they saw significant improvements in their physical and mental health and decreased the number of days per month when they felt physically or mentally unhealthy. The study found that if seniors visiting a fitness center increased their visits to three times per week from one day per week, they would experience a monthly average of 1.4 fewer physically unhealthy days and almost 0.5 fewer mentally unhealthy days, dramatically improving their quality of life and health outcomes.
"We know that physical activity and social engagement are important social determinants of health and this study demonstrates how a program like SilverSneakers can affect a senior's quality of life," said Steve Janicak, President, Healthcare Business Unit, Tivity Health. "This study provides direct evidence that participation in a fitness program can improve health outcomes over time, which we know is important for those health plans who are working to improve the overall health of their members and lower healthcare costs."
The three standard industry measurement scales used in the study were the (1) 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12), (2) Self-Rated Health and (3) Healthy Days measures from the Centers for Disease Control, and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. In addition to measuring mental and physical health and resulting quality of life, the three scales are all important predictors of healthcare utilization and medical costs.
"An unfortunate health risk in the United States is the dangerously low level of physical activity, and the adverse health effects of inactivity become more apparent as people age," said Elizabeth Rula, Ph.D., executive director of research at Tivity Health and one of the study's authors. "Life expectancy in America continues to increase as the number of Americans 65 years and older reaches unprecedented levels in the coming decades. It's a critical public health goal to maintain and improve the quality of life for an aging population."
Research shows that increasing the SF-12 score by a single point (on a 100-point scale) can significantly reduce the risk of readmission, hospitalization and mortality, while a 10-point improvement reduces the risk of readmission by 18 percent1, dramatically lowering healthcare costs. Experiencing between one and ten physically or mentally unhealthy day each month can increase the risk of hospitalization by 70 to 80 percent2.
SilverSneakers®, by Tivity Health, is the nation's leading community fitness program for older Americans. The program was founded in 1992 and is available to more than 15 million Americans through many Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement carriers, and group retiree plans. For more information, to check eligibility or to enroll in the program or sign up for a SilverSneakers newsletter, go to silversneakers.com.
About Tivity Health
Tivity Health®, Inc. is a leading provider of health improvement, nutrition, fitness and social engagement solutions at scale to improve clinical outcomes, reduce healthcare costs and create opportunities to feel better, work better and live better. With decades of clinical and operational expertise, Tivity Health touches millions of consumers through its integrated portfolio of brands and works directly with hundreds of healthcare practitioners and many of the nation's largest payers and employers. Tens of millions of Americans are currently eligible for Tivity Health's SilverSneakers®, Prime® Fitness, WholeHealth Living™ and flip50™ programs and millions of people have lost weight with Nutrisystem®, South Beach Diet® and DNA BodyBlueprint™. As part of its commitment to tackling social isolation and loneliness, in 2017, Tivity Health launched a rural aging initiative to address challenges unique to older adults in rural communities. Learn more at TivityHealth.com.
1 Soley-Bori, M., Soria-Saucedo, R., Ryan, C.M. et al. J Gen Intern Med (2015) 30: 965
2 Dominick, K.L., Ahern, F.M., Gold, C.H. et al. Aging Clin Exp Res (2002) 14: 499
SOURCE Tivity Health