Take Four – Eugeric Versus Pathogeric Aging

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

In their book Physiology of Exercise and Healthy Aging (2008), co-authors Albert W. Taylor and Michel J. Johnson list these "Age Categories for Seniors": middle age 45-64; young old 65-74; old 75-84; old old 85-99; and oldest old 100-plus. They further break down senescence (the gradual age-related decline in cell and body functioning that eventually leads to the death of an organism) into the following classifications: elderly 65-74; older elderly 74-84; and very old 85-plus.

However, like all of the other authors, researchers, and organizations named above, their major focus is not on age numbers. Taylor and Johnson make an important distinction between eugeric aging (changes that will inevitably happen to everyone) and pathogeric aging (pathological changes that are not predestined aspects of aging). They point out that disuse and a progressive decrease in physical activity level over time can significantly contribute to pathogeric aging.

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