Baby boomers beating millennials when it comes to regular exercise

Research released today from Nuffield Health reveals that sixty-somethings are leading the way when it comes to keeping active and are visiting the gym more frequently than their younger counterparts.

Data[1] collected from Nuffield Health’s 77 Fitness & Wellbeing Gyms across the UK, reveals that the average age of their most frequent gym user is 67. Members in this age group were shown to visit the gym an average of eight times a month, whereas those aged 27 visited an average of five times a month in comparison.

The results also showed that:

  • Those aged 60-69 were found to visit the gym seven times a month whereas those aged 20-29 visited an average of five times
  • In London the average age of the most frequent gym user falls to 57, at seven visits a month on average
  • Members in Chingford, Essex are the oldest regular gym users with those aged 78 visiting an average of 12 times a month
  • The average age of the most frequent gym user in Scotland is 79, visiting around 11 times a month

Though there is often the preconception that life may start to slow down for people as they age, the findings reveal a continuing trend of those in their sixties choosing to take control of their health and remain active.

Norman Brown, aged 66, is one of Nuffield Health’s oldest Personal Trainers and has been training members for 8 years at Nuffield Health Warwick Fitness & Wellbeing Gym. Norman says:While you may expect younger people to be in the gym more as they are perceived to be more body conscious, it’s actually those in their sixties who are exercising more. We have seen a huge shift in the attitudes of those who are in their sixties when it comes to ageing. They know that keeping fit and healthy is a key factor in ageing well and are choosing to embrace a healthier lifestyle to maintain or improve both their physical and mental wellbeing.”

The Nuffield Health prospects survey[2] also reveals that 55 per cent of over 55s who were looking to join Nuffield Health this year enquired with the intention of improving their current fitness. Almost one in five (18 per cent) of prospects over the age of 55 did so because they have an existing medical condition that means they need to be more active and almost a quarter (24 per cent) enquired because they wanted to control their weight.

Norman Brown continues, “There are many benefits associated with keeping in good health and these only increase as we age. The main ones for me are to maintain independence, avoid the common lifestyle illnesses and to feel good. Making exercise and healthy eating choices now is the best way to help you age well but, above all, remember the less you do today, the less you will be able to do in the future.”

Dr Davina Deniszczyc, Nuffield Health Medical Executive Director, agrees: “It is important for people of all ages to engage in active lifestyles and it is great to see that so many of our members are managing to visit the gym on a regular basis. As we age, the risk of serious health issues, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, increases so it is especially important to make sure we continue to be active in order to lower this risk. We know that our members who have regular health MOTs see constant measurable improvements to their health and these are a great way for people to receive the help and reassurance they need to become more healthy, whatever their age.”

All Nuffield Health gym members are entitled to free Health MOTs,  a 12-point clinical assessment of overall health based on a series of checks such as blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol and blood sugar, to identify any underlying health issues. These results are used to develop a bespoke set of fitness and lifestyle goals and to measure progress. During a Health MOT a Health Mentor or Wellbeing Personal Trainer will be able to give advice on exercise regimes, health concerns, existing injuries, alcohol use, stress levels and quality of sleep and will provide support throughout the programme.

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[1] Based on Nuffield Health member swipes Jan – March 2015, minimum of ten member sample size.

[2] Nuffield Health prospects survey, January – February 2016

Last updated Tuesday 24 May 2016

First published on Thursday 19 May 2016