Active over 50s

Friday 16 February 2007

Active over 50s

  • Men and women in their 60s could be the last generation of fit grandparents, according to a new survey.

While the Government is faced with rising childhood obesity due to poor diet and lack of exercise and millions of men and women in their 30s and 40s becoming increasingly sedentary, over 65s are fitter than ever.

Great Britain's grandparents are spending around 40 hours a week gardening, playing sport, walking cleaning and doing home improvements.

Housework, home improvements and DIY take up most of the day for over 65s.

More than half of their active week - 21 hours - is spent washing, vacuuming, ironing, painting and upgrading the house.

The poll of 4,000 people, conducted by SAGA Health Insurance, revealed gardening as the favourite pastime for the over 65's, taking up more than four hours a week.

But a healthy 15 per cent of older people are happy to spend more than 10 hours each week in the garden - or more than 65 working days each year.

Walking was the next most popular hobby taking up just over four hours a week.

But once again a hardcore of fit over-65s - more than 1.5 million -spend in excess of ten hours each week trekking, rambling or walking the dog.

So while a Government report recently stated that by 2010 up to 20 per cent of children will be clinically obese, this is a golden era for men and women at the other end of the age spectrum.

On top of housework, DIY, gardening and walking millions of older people also have a regular fitness regime.

The average over 65 will spend three hours a week playing sports and keeping fit indoors and outdoors.

Up to 70,000 also continue enjoy swimming, squash, indoor bowls, tennis and badminton for more than ten hours each week.

And more - around 670,000 - enjoy over ten hours of outdoor sports such as golf and crown green bowls.

In contrast only one per cent of men and women in full time work take part in ten hours a week of activities outdoors.

And despite not having a job to go to, most people over the age of 65 are up early each day and are active for longer.

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive, Saga said, "It comes as no surprise to us that over 50s are so active. Our suite of health products and services has been tailored to account for this fact for years. For example an ever increasing number of customers are taking full advantage of the special terms we have negotiated for them with David Lloyd health and leisure clubs".


For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.

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