As fitness grows, it becoming part of daily life for many more people, with social media and even TV being filled with sports-related content. With fitness becoming common, many would think that Millenials and younger age groups are the most active when it comes to fitness, but a recent study has shown that this is not the case.
The Decathlon Activity Index 2019 have looked into activity rates across different age groups in the UK, in hopes to highlight certain age groups that need more encouragement to get active. The study found that although younger age groups may be more willing to go to Personal Trainers and invest in fitness, it is over 65’s that are the most active age group in the UK.
The study revealed that 44% of over 65’s participate in sport or exercise eight or more times per month; which is a lot more than younger age groups, with only 29% of participants ages 25-34 being active at the same rate. This research suggests that along with making fitness available to more older adults, there needs to be more of a focus on making fitness more available and appealing to younger age groups, as there is a clear need to get more younger people active at a consistent rate.
One thing that definitely plays a part in younger age groups being less active is the work/life balance, as having a full-time job takes up a lot of time and effort, which can make going to the gym the last thing they want to do. Down to this, areas of fitness that could be utilised to get more younger adults active are quick workouts and HIIT training. These forms of training make it possible for people to stay active in short periods of time; making it perfect for those with full-time jobs and other commitments such as children.
Previous research has led to us making fitness more appealing and accessible for older adults, and this new research suggests that we should carry on to do this, as the encouragement given by fitness professionals has definitely played a part in so many over 65’s being active more regularly. More Personal Trainers are becoming qualified to train Older Adults, so it is also easier than ever for older age groups to get involved in fitness and even get tailored fitness plans to help make their training fun and effective.
Whilst finding out more about which age group is most active, the study also looked into which types of sport and exercise are most popular among over 65’s. The study showed that 38% of over 65’s prefer swimming and water-based exercise, with gym-based exercise being the second most popular, with 29% saying this is their go-to form of exercise.
These statistics are massively positive for Personal Trainers and others in the fitness industry who want to get involved with Older Adult clients, as both aqua-based exercise and gym-based exercise are places that they are able to become qualified and get involved in.
On top of over 65’s favouring gym workouts and swimming, the study also showed that 10% of participants chose Yoga or Pilates as their favoured activity. Again, this is great for Personal Trainers and those with reputable Pilates qualifications, as it shows that they can get involved beyond just the gym and aqua sessions with Older Adult clients. Pilates and Yoga are areas of fitness that focus on recovery and mobility, so the benefits can be monumental to their general health in the coming years.
Fitness Sports Manager at Decathlon, Nicola Barnabo has said; “The research shows just how engaged this age group is with exercise and the sheer number of times they participate in exercise speaks volumes about their desire to have a healthy, balanced lifestyle…” This is massively positive for the future of Older Adult fitness and the nation’s health as a whole, as having the willingness to stay fit is the only way that Older Adults are able to take care of their physical and mental wellbeing.
With Older Adults favouring various different forms of exercise, the room for people to get involved with training older adults is huge, as there are qualifications covering Pilates, Aqua-based exercise, Gym Instructing and other areas of fitness that can be used to improve older adult health.
If you’re looking to get involved with Older Adult fitness, take a look at our Active IQ Older Adult Fitness qualification to become a qualified Trainer with Older Adult clients. Take a look at our industry-recognised courses to see how you can make fitness a career.