Abbott, the maker of adult nutritional drink Ensure®, and the International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA) conducted a survey of 600 people ages 50 and older to shed light into their biggest priorities, motivators and beliefs related to health, nutrition and activity. Here are some of the most interesting insights, such as what is motivating adults 50+ to stay healthy and active at any age.
With Age Comes Perspective
As Boomers enter a new stage of life, their priorities change as well as their fears, and a focus on health becomes increasingly important.
- More than half of those surveyed (58 percent) ranked remaining in good health as a priority. Thirty- three percent identified financial stability and 27 percent identified discovering new places as priorities.
- The biggest fears for adults ages 50 and older as they age are: a health setback (39 percent), being a burden on family (21 percent) and financial concerns (14 percent).
Motivated by Independence
While checking off bucket list items may seem like the top motivator for Boomers to stay healthy and active, being able to stay independent (72 percent), travel (57 percent) and spend time with children or grandchildren (45 percent) are actually at the top of their lists.
- Nearly one-quarter (22 percent) of respondents ages 56 – 65 say going on dates and having romantic evenings motivates them to stay healthy and active.
- One-third of adults (33 percent) ages 50-55 say staying employed highly motivates them to stay healthy and active.
Does “Old” Have an Age?
Adults have different opinions on what they consider “old,” and unsurprisingly, older adults have a higher threshold of what they consider “old” than younger adults.
More than one-third (36 percent) of adults ages 50 and older say 80 is the age when they begin considering someone “old,” while 20 percent begin considering someone “old” when they are 70.
Half (49 percent) of adults ages 75 and older begin considering someone “old” when they are 80 or older, compared to only 25 percent of adults ages 50-55.
A “Can Do” Attitude
Nearly 7 in 10 respondents said that they believe a positive attitude can add six or more years to their life, and 83 percent who have experienced a health setback said that a positive attitude was very important in their recovery. These beliefs are backed by science — in a 2016 study of 4,000 adults ages 50 and older, researchers identified that people with a positive outlook on aging have lower levels of c-reactive protein in the body, a marker of stress-related inflammation. This helps explain why people with a positive outlook live seven and a half years longer than people with negative outlooks.
Advice to Younger Self
When asked what advice adults ages 50 and older would give their younger selves, the top two answers were “prepare for retirement” and “eat healthier” (30 percent and 27 percent, respectively). Surprisingly, activities such as “spending more time with family and friends” (19 percent) and “traveling more” (17 percent) did not rank as highly.
Older adults emphasize taking advantage of time while you have it more than younger adults. Nearly one-fourth (22 percent) of adults 75 and older would advise their younger selves to “seize the day,” compared to only 12 percent of adults ages 50-55.
This guest post was graciously provided by Abbott, the maker of adult nutritional drink Ensure®, and the International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA). They conducted a survey of 600 people ages 50 and older to shed light into their biggest priorities, motivators and beliefs related to nutrition, health and activity.