Thu | Mar 22, 2018

Seniors exercise more than youngsters, poll shows

Published:Thursday | March 16, 2017 | 12:00 AM

On average, persons aged 55 to 65 years and older engage more in a structured exercise routine - such as sporting activities, running or walking - compared to younger persons in the 18 to 34 age bracket, according to a Gleaner-commissioned poll conducted by Johnson Survey Research Limited.

The study, which featured 1,200 Jamaicans speaking on a number of health care issues in the country, showed that on average, 68.5 per cent of the younger generation exercise regularly as opposed to 74 per cent of senior citizens.

Certified personal trainer and chief executive officer of TrainFit Club Stokely Rose said this was a result of a number of factors, including a heightened sense of health consciousness among the older age group.

"Persons tend to have less responsibility over the age of 50, as this is generally the retirement time frame. You find that women are no longer the primary caregivers at the home and also the men don't have multiple jobs and, at this stage, they're likely grandparents who have done their due diligence in terms of parenting, hence they have more time to exercise," the 20-year fitness guru told The Gleaner.

"At this age, persons tend to become more knowledgeable of their personal health, as they might have gone to the doctor, they may have chronic illnesses that are developing, so as a result, their consciousness is heightened to exercise and keep active. So, you'll find a lot of older persons walking in the mornings and engaging in more exercises than they would when they were younger."




As it relates to the younger generation, Rose stated that contrary to popular belief supplemented by the constant sight of young persons flocking fitness centres and gyms after work hours, such a phenomenon is almost exclusive to the Corporate Area.

"The younger persons who should be more aware and learning from the older crop, they're what you'd call the 'confident set', as they're now more genetically inclined to look and feel good. So their acumen in terms of exercise and its importance is not like that of older folks. Also, these youngsters are oftentimes engaged in studies, lengthy work periods and other activities that would detract from physical activity," he noted.

In testing the theory, The Gleaner spoke with 25-year-old Shantal Lee, who resides in the St Catherine area. She said: "I would love to exercise, but by the time I head to work in the mornings and leave school at nights, I don't have a convenient time to work out."

In stark contrast, 62-year-old St Andrew resident Anthony Dawes said: "I walk around my scheme six days a week for at least one hour. My wife, who's one year older than I am, joins me at least twice per week."