Healthy ageing quiz

Healthy ageing quiz


Healthy ageing quiz

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Is your current lifestyle helping you age well? If you are over 50, this quiz is for you.


We’re all getting older, whether we want to admit it or not! The question is, are you ageing well or not? Complete the quiz (adapted from www.mednwh.unimelb.edu.au) below to find out.

What to do

Answer all the questions then add up your score to see what it tells you about your current lifestyle. Tick the responses that describe your regular and current activities and behaviour. If you can’t decide between two responses, tick the one with the lower score.

1. In a typical week, do you do 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity a day?

This means activity that causes your heart to beat faster and makes you breathe harder, but you can still talk comfortably. Activities such as brisk walking, mowing the lawn or heavy housework. The 30 minutes can be in 10 to 15 minute blocks.




Yes, 5 days or more a week  2

3−4 days a week

1

0−2 days a week

0

2. Tick which of the following exercises you do regularly in a typical week.






Strength/power training (e.g. weights, resistance training, push ups)

1

Balance and mobility activities (e.g. walking, balance exercise class, Tai Chi)

1

Cardiorespiratory activities (e.g. aerobics, swimming, cycling, brisk walk)

1

Flexibility (e.g. stretching, yoga)

1

None of the above

0

 3. Do you feel unsteady or at risk of losing your balance when walking and turning?




No unsteadiness 2

Very little/minimal unsteadiness

1

Moderate to severe unsteadiness

0

4. How many falls have you had in the last 12 months?

A fall is where you land on a lower surface, and includes trips and slips.





Nil 2

1 (no medical treatment needed)

1

2 or more (no medical treatment needed)   

0

1 or more requiring medical treatment 

0

5. Do you smoke or have you ever smoked?





Never smoked or stopped over 10 years ago 2

I was a smoker but stopped within the last 10 years

1

I do not smoke but others smoke around me   

1

Yes, I currently smoke (tick even if you only smoke sometimes)

0

6. Do you drink more than the recommended level of alcohol?

The recommended level for low-risk drinking is two standard drinks a day or less for healthy men and women, and no more than four drinks on any one occasion.




I never or rarely drink 2

No, I drink within the recommended level 

2

Yes, I drink more than the recommended level

0

7. Is your body mass index (BMI) within the normal range (between 18.5 to 25)?

To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in kilograms (kg) by your height in metres squared (m2) For example, if you weigh 70 kg and are 1.6m (160cm) tall, you multiply 1.6m by 1.6m which gives you 2.56 m2 and then you divide 70 kg by 2.56. Your BMI would be 27.3, which is above the normal range.





My BMI is between 18.5 to 25

2

My BMI is between 26−27 but I am over 65 years of age

2

My BMI is above 25

0

My BMI is below 18.5

0

8. What is your waist circumference?

Place a tape measure directly on your skin, in line with your belly button, breathe out normally and measure. The tape should be snug but not squeezing the skin.

For men




94cm or under 2

Below 102cm but over 94cm (37″) (high risk)

1

102cm and over (40.2″) (very high risk) 

0

For women 




80cm or under

2

Below 90cm but over 80cm (31.5″) (high risk)

1

90cm and over (35.4″) (very high risk) 

0

9. In a typical week, do you eat healthy meals (a well-balanced diet)?




Mostly or always 

2

Sometimes 

1

Never or rarely

0

10. Do you eat three regular meals a day?




Yes 2

Mostly 

1
No 0

11. Do you have any of the following conditions: arthritis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, lung disease, osteoporosis (low bone density) or other chronic condition?




I have no chronic conditions

2

I have one or more chronic conditions but they are well managed

1

I have one or more chronic conditions that causes me some concern

0

12. Have you visited a doctor (GP or other medical practitioner) in the last 12 months for an annual check-up?



Yes

2
No 0

13. Do you have difficulty sleeping?




I usually sleep well 

2

My sleep is interrupted but I usually go back to sleep without difficulty

1

I usually have difficulty sleeping

0

14. In a typical week, do you do activities that challenge and stimulate your mind most days of the week?

For example, reading, writing, playing a musical instrument, doing crosswords or learning new activities/skills.




Yes, 5 days or more a week

2

3−4 days a week

1

0−2 days a week 

0

15. In a typical week, do you have activities that keep you socially and productively engaged?




Yes, 5 days or more a week 

2

3−4 days a week

1

0−2 days a week

0

16. Are you involved in group activities (formal or informal), community or religious organisations (in total at least once a week)?




At least once a week

2

Once or twice a month (not weekly)

1

Rarely 

0

17. How often do you see or hear from family and/or friends in a typical week?




5 days or more a week

2

3−4 days a week 

1

0−2 days a week

0

18. Do you have people you feel you can depend on?



Yes

2
No 0

19. Do you have people you feel very close to?



Yes

2
No 0

20. Are you generally an optimistic person?



Yes

2
No 0

21. Do you always look for opportunities to make the most of your life and what you can do (even when there are changes in your life such as health problems and retirement)?




Often or always

2

Sometimes 

1

Never or rarely

0

22. Are there things that you look forward to each day?




Often or always  

2

Sometimes

1

Never or rarely

0

 


Now, add up to get your total score:

….

How did you rate?

  • If your score is 0−15, it means that many of your current lifestyle choices are not helping you age well.
  • If your score is 16−30, it means that some of your lifestyle choices are helping you age well, others are letting you down.
  • If your score is 31–46, you have adopted many positive lifestyle choices that are increasing your chances of ageing well.

Tips for healthy ageing

Questions 1 and 2: Physical activity

  • Aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity each day. The 30 minutes can be done in 10−15 minute blocks and can include formal exercises or physical activity such as gardening or walking.
  • Include a variety of exercises that help improve your functioning and independence: strength/power training, balance, mobility and cardiorespiratory activities and flexibility.

Question 3 and 4: Balance and falls

  • If you have concerns about your balance, or have fallen, find out what why. Some causes of falls include vision, muscle weakness, balance problems, inactivity, medication, certain medical conditions, foot problems or inappropriate footwear.

Question 5 and 6: Smoking and alcohol use

  • Quit smoking now!
  • Use alcohol wisely – drink within the recommended level for low-risk drinking. For older people it may be preferable to drink less or no alcohol because the body’s ability to process alcohol decreases with age and alcohol can interact with your medication.

Questions 7 and 8: Weight

  • Being overweight or obese, or underweight, increases your risk of many chronic diseases. Ensure your weight is within the healthy range for your height.

Questions 9 and 10: Diet and nutrition

  • Your body needs fuel for energy and vitamins and minerals to function efficiently. For this you need a healthy, balanced diet. Poor diet is associated with many preventable chronic diseases.
  • Aim to eat three meals each day (or more frequent smaller meals).
  • Ensure that your diet meets the guidelines for healthy eating. Your diet should include:
    •  Plenty of vegetables (different types and colours) and legumes/beans
    • Fruits
    • Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholemeal and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
    • Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
    • Milk, yoghurts, cheeses, and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Limit the intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugar and alcohol.

Question 11 and 12: Chronic conditions and medical care

  • Learn all you can about your chronic condition – what helps the condition and what makes it worse.
  • Understand the medication you take, their side-effects and any contraindications, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Have a general check-up each year, as early detection of problems improves outcomes.

Question 13: Sleep

  • Your body needs sleep to repair any cell damage and to refresh your immune system. A good night’s sleep (generally eight hours) helps your concentration and your memory function.
  • Avoid smoking or consuming alcohol or caffeine before bedtime, avoid too much daytime napping, have regular sleep hours and a routine, and keep active during the day. Exposure to sunlight (at least two hours a day) helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Limit the use of sleeping tablets; they are a short-term solution and can cause long-term health problems.
  • Investigate the causes of sleep problems and address them. They may include pain, medication, lack of exercise, psychological stress or sleep disorders, such as sleep apnoea. Talk to your doctor.

Questions 14: Stimulating your mind

  • Just like your body, you need to keep your mind active.
  • Learn a new skill or take up a new hobby (e.g. painting, carpentry), do a short course, read, write, do crosswords puzzles, learn to play a musical instrument or a foreign language.
  • Keeping physically and socially active also helps.
  • If you have concerns about your memory, see your doctor.

Questions 15 to 19: Social connection and productive engagement

  • Do things that make you happy and that are worthwhile to you – this may include working, looking after grandchildren, volunteering, or doing creative arts and crafts.
  • Take time to develop and nurture your relationships with family and friends; not only are they people you can turn to in need, but they provide a social outlet and companionship.
  • Group activities and volunteering also give you an opportunity to meet new people.
  • If you feel lonely and isolated, speak to someone – a family member or friend, your doctor, a social worker or a psychologist.
  • If you have persistent symptoms of low mood, see your doctor.

Questions 20 to 22: Optimism and adaption

  • It is important to have something to look forward to each day, no matter how big or small.
  • Keep a positive attitude and an open mind to opportunities that come your way.
  • Plan your retirement, including what you will do to keep mentally and physically active.
  • If your health changes, look at what you can do and not what you can no longer do.

Source
www.mednwh.unimelb.edu.au

2017-08-31T19:44:00+00:00