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J Exerc Rehabil > Volume 20(3);2024 > Article
Jee: Aging world: mishap or time for revision
The average number of births per woman of reproductive age has been falling drastically in recent decade. Currently, Japan and South Korea has the lowest birth rate in the world. South Korea’s fertility rate fell drastically in recent years to become the country with the lowest birth rate among all. China is also reporting of serious decline in birth rate in recent years as well.
Countries such as Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan are also decreasing with reduced population growth in other Asian countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines.
The aging phenomenon is not limited to the Asian countries. According to the United Nations (UN), populating the aging is an irreversible global trend: people are living longer and having smaller families. It has been projected that 1 out of 6 people will be 65 years old or above globally in 2050. Western Asia, Northern Africa, and sub-Saharian Africa are expected to have the fastest growing elderly population in next three decades according to UN.
Therefore, we must learn to live in a world of elderly population in upcoming years. Such global phenomenon is not a mishap. Rather, it is a natural phenomenon that needs to be analyzed for redirection. Conventional expectation of the aging population was somewhat of the indicator of economic burden. However, increased global life expectancy also indicate and accompany better health among overall aging population. With strong emphasis on the health management and well-being at older age, people are aging healthier than ever before. That is, more and more people are maintaining their functional ability to participate in a society.
Each society must adapt to the increasing number of the elderly population and their functional capabilities for each elderly to find a place to participate in a working society. Critical analysis of the future aging society and the elderly population should be conducted by the health care providers including the experts of exercise rehabilitation. What we currently understand of the elderly will not be the same in the future. Redesigning of the long-term health management and care will benefit not only the aging people but the society.

Notes

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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