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Physical Changes

Many adults, as they approach middle age, find that their strength and endurance are not what they formerly were. As a result, they gradually shift to interests that require less strength and endurance, especially in recreations (Morgan 2004). On the other hand, because middle age is a long period in the life span, it is customarily subdivided into early, which extends from age forty to age fifty, and advanced middle age, which extends from age fifty to age sixty. During advanced middle age, physical and psychological changes that first began during the early forties become far more apparent.

During 40s, the economic status of adults improves; they tend to expand the range of their interests to include those they previously could not afford. If, on the other hand, their economic status is strained, due to family responsibilities or lack of vocational advancement, many interests must be abandoned. The pattern of adult women’s lives differs markedly from that of adult men’s lives, with the result that sex differences in interests become greater than they were (Morgan 2004). Moreover, physical changes occur at 40s, 50s, and 60s are linked to each other.

The common physical changes are: weight gain, loss and graying of hair, skin changes, body sag, and changes in eyes. Fat accumulates mainly around the abdomen and on the hips. The middle-age man’s hairline becomes thinner, and baldness on the top of the head is very common. Hair in the nose, ears, and eyelashes becomes stiffer, while facial hair grows more slowly and is less luxuriant (Kivett 2006). Women’s hair becomes thinner, and there is an increase of hair on the upper lip and chin.

Both men and women have a predominance of gray hair by fifty, and some have white hair before the middle age ends. The skin on the face, neck, arms, and hands becomes coarser and wrinkled. Bags appear under the eyes, and dark circles become more permanent and pronounced. Bluish-red discolorations often appear around the ankles and on the mid-calf. In addition, the shoulders often become rounded, and there is general sagging of the body which makes the abdomen appear prominent and causes the person to look shorter (Kivett 2006).

The eyes look less bright that they did when the individual was younger, and there is tendency for mucous to accumulate in the corners of the eyes (Morgan 2004). Reference: Kivett, V. R. (2006). The relative importance of physical, psychological, and social variables on locus central orientation in middle age. Journal of Gerontology, 32, 203-205 Morgan, R. F. (2004). The adult growth examination’s preliminary comparisons of physical aging in adults by sex and race. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 27, 595

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