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Leisure - Types Of Leisure Activities

age aging social hours persons percent women

How do older persons spend their free time? In what types of activities do they participate? What forms of leisure pursuits are most popular? Data from a variety of sources give us a good glimpse into the daily lives of older persons and the types of leisure activities in which they are currently involved.

Contrary to images of older people spending the bulk of their later years in a rocking chair kind of existence, evidence points to a far more active lifestyle. The 1995 National Health Interview Survey, for example, queried persons about their participation in leisure-time physical activity (exercises, sports, physically active hobbies). By this measure, only 34 percent of Americans sixty-five years of age and older reported not being engaged in any of these types of activities during the previous two weeks, as having what might be termed a "sedentary" lifestyle, and this figure represented a decline from 40 percent in 1985 (Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics, Table 20). Similarly, viewing older persons as "engaged" in social activities would be an apt characterization. Findings from the Second Supplement on Aging to the 1994 National Health Interview Survey showed that in the previous two weeks 88 percent of persons seventy years of age and older had contact with friends or neighbors; 92 percent had contact with relatives not living in the household; 50 percent had attended a religious service, 27 percent had attended a movie, sports event, club, or group event; 64 percent had gone to a restaurant. And over the previous twelve months, 16 percent reported performing volunteer work. The majority of older Americans also appear to be quite satisfied with their level of social activity; only 21 percent reported they would like to be more active than they are presently (Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics, Tables 19A and 19B).

A different and more in-depth glimpse into the daily activities of older persons is provided by examination of "time budgets." These studies ask persons to keep detailed records of how they spend their time during a given interval, for example, during the previous twenty-four hours. Employing this approach, Robinson, Werner, and Godbey have estimated the average number of hours men and women ages sixty-five and older spend weekly in a variety of activities. TV viewing leads the list for both men and women (26.7 hours/week for men; 26.6 for women). Substantial amounts of time are spent traveling (8.8 hours/week for men; 6.6 for women), communicating (7.8 hours for men; 8.0 for women), reading (7.2 and 6.8 hours, respectively), visiting (6.5 hours for both), and in pursuing various hobbies (3.7 and 4.4 hours). Men are more involved in sports than women (3.7 vs. 1.2 hours), women spend more time in religious activities (1.4 hours for men; 1.9 for women), and both spend about the same amount of time participating in organizations (1.6 and 1.5 hours per week, respectively). Other activities, such as education, attending events, and listening to the radio or stereo took up an additional 2.5 hours per week for men and 1.5 hours for women.

Comparable data from a German study (Horgas, Wilms, and Baltes) using a "yesterday interview" approach confirm the contention that older persons spend a greater portion of their day engaged in leisure pursuits than in resting or doing nothing. Among these respondents seventy years of age and older, more than seven hours a day were devoted to a range of discretionary activities such as watching TV, reading, socializing, and "other" leisure activities (e.g., cultural, educational, creative, church, and political activities; sports; gardening; walking; excursions; writing; playing; listening to radio/tape/record). Time spent resting averaged less than three hours a day, although this varied considerably by age—less than two hours a day among persons in their seventies compared to four and a half hours a day for those in their nineties.

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about 1 year ago

Many types of Leisure activities.

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almost 2 years ago

We love games here, trying to getaway from bingo a little and try new things.We have a lot of vets so we do around the world ball, about the places we've been. Also I just introduced wheel of fortune grand theme.They loved it.

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almost 7 years ago

There are many types of leisurely activities. Most include exercise, sports, physically active hobbies, TV, games, etc.

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5 months ago

The stereotypes that we all grew up with that elderly people just sat and knitted are being proven wrong. Many will still participate in sports and other hobbies that they have had all throughout their lives.

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9 months ago

I believe it is very important for the elderly to stay active mentally, physically,emotionally, and much more.

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about 1 year ago

Many types of leisure activities

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over 1 year ago

Older persons seem to be mobile and active now-a-days then before. The routine vision that most see is not what it is anymore. Older people are more active and are more into social life as well as an active lifestyle.

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almost 2 years ago

In my activities, i do book with things they would remember younger if life. we do remembrance games from 1920 and so on. For example the price of gas back then bread, milk.The first movie they saw. Once you get them started they will tell you a lot about themself.





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about 2 years ago

I think is unfortunate that most of the residents leisure time is spent watching TV. My facility tries to keep our residents busy and entertain as much as we can with our daily activities, but I guess with the different residents background and ethnicities is difficult to limit TV programming but we can always use informative DVD or Video material.

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almost 3 years ago

the senior here do exercises sports some like reading and writing and some like tv and 99%of them like bingo.

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about 3 years ago

This is a very interesting Topic on Leisure Activities. Helping them and encouraging them to do exercise, play sports, church, communicating, etc..... is going to be awesome.

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about 3 years ago

i believe my residents enjoy therapy and going outside probably more then any other leisurly activity. they watch tv but i think its kind of routine for them.

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over 3 years ago

This is very interdsting. I think its great that our aging population finds it so important to stay active.

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almost 4 years ago

I liked how they "spoke of leisur as a Time To Be Filled after work is done". With life expectancy we are living longer, health is improving and older residents as well as disabled residents are having more opportunities to express, explore more leisure activities such as gardening, baking, exercise, walking, playing, creative, church, excursions, educational, TV, reading, socializing, so much to do in our leisure times.

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over 4 years ago

It was an amazing topic that gives me more knowlege on OBRA 87. Looking forward to read more interesting topics.

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over 4 years ago

Find information to be helpful some other activities that could be on this list is Just getting out of their own private areas and rooms being around other people as simple as it is can be helpful and often warm one up for other events.