Many aging baby boomers expect to exercise well into their seventies, and most plan to live independently for as long as possible. Luckily, companies are designing products that help boomers retain their active lifestyles.
To help consumers find products that are easy to use at any age, the Arthritis Foundation developed its Ease of Use program, which employs testers with moderate-to-severe arthritis to evaluate products. The Arthritis Foundation provides the following tips for boomers unwilling to let age interfere with their favorite activities:
• Choose exercise equipment that reduces strain on joints. Baby boomers love their exercise, so it can be frustrating when knees, hips and backs protest after running or cycling. But there’s no reason that boomers can’t make adjustments that allow them to continue their favorite activities.
For example, gym rats can find indoor exercise equipment specifically designed to avoid straining hips, knees and shoulders. The NuStep 4000 Recumbent Cross Trainer received the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease-of-Use Commendation for its comfortable seat and ability to provide an effective upper- and lower-body workout without stressing joints.
• Make bathroom cleaning more accessible. Bending and scrubbing can add unwanted pressure to joints and muscles. Products like Scrubbing Bubbles, an SC Johnson cleaning product, have incorporated innovative ways to ease unnecessary work from the necessary evil of cleaning the bathroom. Scrubbing Bubbles’ Automatic Shower Cleaner is a breakthrough cleaning system that automatically sprays cleaner to eliminate the build up of tough soap scum and mold and mildew stains. The cleaning formula combines with the water on your shower walls to begin working immediately.
• Eliminate bending and kneeling. As you age, climbing on chairs to reach tall shelves or stooping to fish through low cabinets becomes less feasible. Designing your home to put your possessions in reach can help you stay independent as you age.
When purchasing cabinets or other storage spaces, look for features like adjustable shelving, pullouts and extensions. For example, The Diamond Logix 36 Inch SuperCabinet with Rollouts and Pullouts has three roll-out trays, dual storage and two wire pull-out baskets, so you don’t have to reach, kneel or bend to access items.
For more information, visit www.arthritis.org.