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Boomers and Physical Fitness: An AARP Bulletin Survey

Aimed at exploring the U.S. Boomers’ perceptions and behavior around physical health and fitness, this survey was conducted via telephone by AARP Research, on behalf of the AARP Bulletin, in January 2014, among a national representative sample of 760 Boomers (ages 49-67 years).  

Key findings include:

  • Over four-in-ten (43%) Boomers rate their physical health excellent or very good while three-in-ten (29%) rate it fair or poor. 
  • Two-thirds (67%) of Boomers say physical fitness exercise is a priority for them today.
  •  “It keeps me mobile, not dependent on others (48%), “I enjoy it/it’s fun” (30%), “I have always had this as a priority” (26%), “Doctor recommended it as a must” (26%), and “It makes me feel younger” (25%) are the top-five reasons why physical fitness exercise is a priority for them today.
  • While asking the reasons to those who say physical fitness exercise is not a priority for them today, the highest proportion reported “I don’t have time” (30%), followed by “I am disabled/physically impaired” (22%), “I have chronic illness/I am sick” (21%), and “I have other more important priorities” (20%).
  • About one-in-six (16%) Boomers are currently a member of a health, fitness, or exercise club. Use of personal fitness mobile apps is infrequent among Boomers - only 7% reported using them over the past five years. 

These data were gathered through a random-digit dial telephone omnibus survey fielded January 2-15, 2014, of a nationally  representative sample of 760 respondents ages 49 to 67 (Boomers). Of the total, 396 respondents were ages 49-59 and 336 respondents were age 60+, and 28 respondents refused to report their actual age. For more information, contact Matrika Chapagain at mchapagain@aarp.org.

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