Slide 11 of 13
The concept of compression of morbidity (illness) has attracted the attention of many scientists and public health officials. It is based on the observation that in recent years a larger percent of people live to older ages than people in the early part of the 1900’s. This is partly due to advances in medical treatments and increases in health standards in many parts of the world.
Unfortunately, many individuals still suffer through long periods of illness or disability near the end of life. Based largely on work by Dr. James Fries and colleagues, it has been suggested that people that are physically active and live healthful lifestyles are less likely to experience these prolonged periods of compromised health and physical functioning. By shortening or “compressing” periods of morbidity prior to death a person can maintain a higher quality of life for their later years. This is also known as “squaring off the curve” .