Silver Cyclists Rule! The nation is living longer, and as average life expectancy increases, new research has revealed that the over 65s are now one of the most physically active age groups in the UK.
A survey of more than 7,600 UK adults published in the Decathlon Activity Index 2019, shows that 44% of over 65s take part in sports eight times or more in a typical month.
In fact, the next most active age group still fell within the older cohort – 41% of those 55 – 64 years old said they participate in sports or exercise eight times or more in a month.
When over 65s were quizzed on the sports they take part in every month, swimming was overwhelmingly the sport of choice for this age group, with 38% of the votes.
Perhaps surprisingly, this was followed by exercising in the gym which came in second place (29%) inspired by celebrities within this age group including Cher, Goldie Hawn and Sting.
Interestingly, three out of the top five types of exercise over 65s take part in were outdoor based, including our silver cyclists at (21%), hiking or trekking (19%) and camping (11%).
Nicola Barnabo, fitness sports manager at Decathlon commented: “The research shows just how engaged this age group is with exercise and the sheer number of times they participate in exercise over a month speaks volumes about their desire to have a healthy, balanced lifestyle during retirement. This could be down to over 65s today being more aware of the health benefits of exercise or the fact that the younger generation are less active due to technology advances. It is also encouraging to see how many of this demographic are preferring to participate in sports or exercise outdoors. Not only does the sport offer a range of health benefits, but there have been studies done on the advantages of exercising outside from improving mood, reducing stress and restoring mental fatigue.
“For those demographics who are less active more times in a month than others, it’s not necessarily a case of needing to spend time in the gym or training relentlessly, but in fact simple forms of exercise that we can easily incorporate into our daily lives can be picked up from going out on a stroll to playing a round of golf. We want to celebrate those who participate in sports they love, and we believe sports should be accessible for all, no matter what age.”
Top 10 Sports Over 65s Take Part In:
- Swimming – 38%
- Fitness/Gym – 29%
- Silver Cyclists – 21%
- Hiking/Trekking – 19%
- Camping – 11%
- Yoga/Pilates – 10%
- Tennis – 9%
- Fishing – 6%
- Running – 6%
- Horse Riding – 3%
The Decathlon Activity Index tracks rates of participation in sport and other physical activities across the year through a monthly, national survey.