It may be true that the Olympics has encouraged the next generation to get fit for Rio in 2016 but research for Saga Health Insurance shows that a quarter (24%) of over 50s have been inspired to participate in more sport following the success of Team GB at London 2012*.
The report shows that the over 50s have been fully engaged with the Olympics and no doubt they are looking forward to the Paralympics as well. While one in ten was lucky enough to attend an Olympic event - rising to one in five of those living in London - more than half (56%) watched the Olympics on TV every day.
The games certainly succeeded in bringing the nation together with 67% of over 50s saying that the Olympics increased their pride to be British. However, it seems that London 2012 also brought men and women together. Watching sport is usually a male dominated activity, whereas watching the Olympics on TV attracted just as many women as men.
One in eight over 50s has been motivated to take up a new sport by the success of Team GB. It seems that the sports they have become interested in for the first time are even more of a surprise. One in five over 50s have been inspired by Wiggins and co to take up cycling and 17% have plunged for swimming. More surprisingly 16% have taken up canoeing while 12% aim to take up shooting.
One in six active over 50s who already participate in sports such as swimming, running and cycling say they will now do more of that sport on a regular basis.
Roger Ramsden, Chief Executive, Saga Services commented: “The Olympics really has brought the nation together and inspired all ages to be more active. For the over 50s in particular this is great news as research indicates that exercise in your 50s cuts the risk of heart disease.”
Notes to Editors
• *Research conducted on behalf of Saga Health Insurance by Opinion Matters between 10th August - 17th August 2012, amongst 1,045 over 50s.
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