• Mark Pearson

What’s in a Name? Here’s a Scary Name for a Common Desire


Here’s an interesting phrase you don’t hear every day: “compression of morbidity.”

Sounds dreadful, doesn’t it?


But it’s actually something everyone wants: to have all our age-related illnesses come in as short a time as possible at the end of life. In other words, to live really well right up until the end.


The ultimate example: being healthy and active until passing away peacefully while asleep.

It’s a universal goal, and a main driver of over-50 fitness. A healthy lifestyle can help us reach it. That means regular exercise; proper diet and rest; living at the right weight. You already know it will keep us alive longer. But more to the point here, these habits keep us healthier longer into our advanced years.


This is a primary motivator for many “active agers.” When you ask why they’re committed to fitness, you often hear them say:


  • “So, I can enjoy life for as long as possible”

  • “So, I don’t become a burden”

  • “Because I don’t want to be feeble and frail over a period of slow decline.”


Sound familiar?


Research shows that people with healthier lifestyles suffer less decline than people who are sedentary, smoke, and have other unhealthy habits. Talk to your doctor about applying the concepts of “compression of morbidity” to increase your quality of life – from hip replacements to hearing aids.


We’re all on-board with the idea of “compression of morbidity.” But the marketers of medical jargon need to come up with a happier way to put it!


Sources: National Institutes of Health; Journal of Gerontology

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