Boomers - Fear Factors in Health & Fitness


To determine the primary fear factors/excuses that cause Baby Boomers to neglect their health and fitness.

Early Findings

  • Despite leading the American fitness revolution in past decades, Boomers are now much less fit than the previous generation was at the same age and are more likely to struggle with health problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Of today's Boomers, just 35% report exercising regularly, and 52% have no exercise routine, according to JAMA Internal Medicine.
  • One study published in the International Journal of Wellbeing found that the motivation to exercise for enjoyment's sake declines with age. This lack of passion or failure to find enjoyment in physical activity may cause Boomers who are exercising solely for health purposes to lose their motivation.
  • Due to this decline, Boomers who don't have passion for certain life events—such as wanting to be able to play with grandchildren or enjoy excursions—may struggle to stay motivated to improve/maintain their fitness level.
  • Some experts also blame factors that could affect Americans across many generations, such as the rise of fast-food nation and supersized portions.
  • Others point to the growth of personal technology, which encourages a sedentary lifestyle as people sit and fiddle with small devices.
  • A study from Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that people overestimate how much exercise they perform by nearly one hour a week and underestimate how much time they spend sitting by nearly two hours per week. This failure to accurately estimate activity levels can negatively impact an individual's ability to meet recommended activity guidelines.
  • According to information provided at the 2016 IHRSA Convention, retired Boomers tend to have a lack of routine in their daily lives and may experience more depression and isolation, which could negatively affect motivation to exercise.
  • IHRSA also notes that many fitness facilities have failed to offer programs for the Boomer generation and that Boomers are less likely to have the knowledge of gym equipment or feel comfortable in a gym setting in comparison to younger generations.
  • According to research published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), "competing demands of work and family may influence attention to health promoting behaviors" among Boomers, as they struggle with the emotional and financial hardships of caring for both their children and aging parents.
  • The NIH also notes that while 90% of Boomers report trying to adopt healthier eating and exercise habits, many fail to sustain these healthy lifestyle changes (reasons for this failure were not noted).

Proprietary Research Available

We found some proprietary research from one of our data partners which may be helpful:
  • Baby Boomers: Consumers in their Golden Years, Section 3.3 Health is wealth: staying healthy and active (Euromonitor International, $192.66)
If you'd like us to purchase this report on your behalf, just let us know!

Research proposal:

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