Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Standing, Stooping Are the Most Common Physical Difficulties

What are the physical functions Americans have the most trouble performing? Surprisingly, it's not walking a quarter mile or climbing stairs. Instead, the most difficult physical tasks for the largest share of the public are standing for two hours and stooping, bending, and kneeling. Overall, 9 percent of people aged 18 or older—nearly one in 10—say it would be very difficult or impossible for them to stand for two hours. The same percentage say they are not be able to stoop, bend, or kneel.

Overall, 14.9 percent of the public reports having at least one of these difficulties in physical functioning...

Among people aged 18 or older, percent saying it would be very difficult or impossible to...
Stand for two hours: 9.0%
Stoop, bend, kneel: 9.0%
Walk a quarter mile: 7.1%
Push/pull large objects: 5.9%
Climb 10 steps without resting: 4.9%
Lift or carry 10 pounds: 4.1%
Sit for two hours: 3.0%
Reach overhead: 2.3%
Grasp small objects: 1.7%

With age, physical difficulties increase. Only 5 percent of 18-to-44-year-olds report any difficulty in physical functioning. The share rises to 49 percent among people aged 75 or older. Among the oldest Americans, 33 percent say they would find it very difficult or impossible to stand for two hours, 29 percent could not stoop, bend, or kneel, 28 percent could not walk a quarter of a mile, and 20 percent could not climb 10 steps without resting.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, Tables of Summary Health Statistics

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