The Morning Blend


Are you aging faster because of the pandemic?

Posted at 12:12 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 15:12:35-04

ATI Physical Therapy is a paid sponsor of The Morning Blend.

A recent survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of ATI Physical Therapy [] (ATI), reveals Americans perceive they may be aging faster as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A majority of Americans (76%) say they need to get better at being physically active, with mobility, exercise and independent living being the key indicators used to gauge “aging better” past age 50.
Meanwhile, just 12% of Americans define “aging better” as keeping their skin free of wrinkles for longer, suggesting a shift from physical appearance being the key indicator for measuring aging to physical activity being the defining measure.

Survey Highlights:

  • Many Americans define “aging better” as maintaining their ability to move freely without pain for longer (31%), living independently as long as they want (26%) and engaging in a consistent level of physical activity/exercise well past age 50 (26%).
  • While 76% of Americans believe they need to do better when it comes to being physically active, only about 3 in 5 Americans (58%) have added more physical activity or exercise to their routine in the past year to help their body age better.
  • Americans ages 18-54 are more likely than those ages 55+ to say they have had more aches and pains in the last year than in previous years due to COVID-19 limitations (52% vs. 34%), while Americans ages 18-44 are more likely than those ages 65+ to think their body’s biological age has aged faster in the last year than years previous (58% vs. 48%)

Chuck Thigpen is Senior Director for Practice Innovation and Analytics for ATI and Director of Observational Clinical Research in Orthopedics with the Center for Effectiveness Research in Orthopedics at the University of South Carolina. He holds adjunct appointments with Duke University Department of Orthopedics, Division of Physical Therapy, University of South Carolina Department of Physical Therapy, and Clemson University Bioengineering. He serves as a Senior Faculty and mentor in the APTA (Athletic Physical Therapy Association) credentialed sports and orthopedic residency and is a cofounder of the APTA credentialed upper extremity fellowship for ATI and the Kansas City Royals. Chuck completed his PhD in Human Movement Science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2006. He completed a M.S. in Human Movement Science with a concentration in Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy from UNC in May of 2003. He earned his B.S. in Physical Therapy from East Tennessee State University in 1997. Today he leads the analysis and benchmarking for ATI’s Patient Outcomes Registry, the largest in physical therapy with over 2 million patients’ baseline and post-treatment outcome measures.

ATI Physical Therapy offerings span the healthcare spectrum for Musculoskeletal (MSK) related issues. From preventative services in the workplace and athletic training support to home health, outpatient clinical services and online physical therapy via its online platform, CONNECT™

Survey Method: This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of ATI Physical Therapy between April 14-16 among 2,050 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.