A New Year’s resolution – Don’t follow the masses when it comes to exercise

December 30, 2009

What’s your new year’s resolution? For many people this time of year, losing weight and/or getting active tops the list. But when it comes to getting exercise (or, as we at NCHS term it, regular leisure-time physical activity), only about 35% of Americans are making it a priority (although, the percentage of those getting regular exercise in January through June of 2009 did increase from the same period in 2008). Take a look at the most recent statistics –

Percentage of adults aged 18 years and over who engaged in regular leisure-time physical activity: United States, 1997-June 2009 (Data from the National Health Interviewy Survey):

The answer? Don’t give up. And this year, if losing weight and getting active is your goal, maybe it’s time to give your resolution more than lip service.

For more details, visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/released200912.htm.

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What’s your chance of having a Christmas baby?

December 23, 2009

The short answer is, not as high as in other months. Still, the possibility is there. In fact, if you look at the seasonally adjusted birth rates by month, your chances in December are just as good as having a baby in March or May. The lowest rate is April (13.7 live births per 1,000 population), compared with the highest rate in August (14.6). December comes in at 14.2 births per 1,000 population.

But this year, Christmas is on a Friday. How does that figure in? Well, the average number of births in 2006 (most recent data available) ranges from 7,587 live births on Sundays compared with 13,482 on Wednesdays. Fridays come in at a respectable 13,151, although Tuesdays and Thursdays, along with Wednesdays, have a higher average.

But then, that baby will come when it comes, right?

See the tables below for more detail:

Births by Month and Weekday, 2006


How’s your state doing?

December 16, 2009

NCHS now has an easy way for you to check out where your state stands on a variety of health measures compared with the nation as a whole and other states, including the following:

  • Mortality from leading causes of death
  • Birth data, including births to unmarried mothers, teen births, cesarean deliveries, low birthweight births, prenatal care, and preterm births
  • Households using only wireless phones
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Marriage and divorce rates
  • Percentage of people under 65 without health insurance

To use this tool, click on the image below.


A holiday present for everyone – life expectancy

December 9, 2009

What gift did every American get this year? Well, for one thing, everyone now has a longer life expectancy. Of course, it’s not a one size fits all – there are still differences among the races and genders, as shown in the bullets below. Everyone’s life expectancy has increased, however, regardless of where he or she started a year before.

Life expectancy from birth…

  • Everyone – 77.7 years in 2006; 77.9 years in 2007
  • White Female – 80.6 years in 2006; 80.7 years in 2007
  • Black Female – 76.5 years in 2006; 77.0 years in 2007
  • White Male – 75.7 years in 2006; 75.8 years in 2007
  • Black Male – 69.7 years in 2006; 70.2 years in 2007

For more information, visit the life expectancy page at NCHS.


Report examines racial differences in nursing homes

December 2, 2009

In 2004, 11% of the 1.3 million nursing home residents aged 65 and over in the United States were black. Recent research suggests that black nursing home residents may be more likely than residents of other races to reside in facilities that have serious deficiencies, such as low staffing ratios and greater financial vulnerability. The National Center for Health Statistics released a report today examining differences observed between elderly black nursing home residents and residents of other races in functioning and resident-centered care. The chart below features one of the findings in the report:

For more, visit the report at www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db25.pdf.