Newly Started Activities of 80-Year-Old Japanese Seniors

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 1:15 PM
Room: 304
Oral Presentation
Wataru KOYANO , Seigakuin University, Ageo City, Japan
Shino SAWAOKA , Dia Foundation for Research on Ageing Societies, Japan
Ichiro KAI , The University of Tokyo, Japan
Yuichi ANDO , National Institute of Public Health, Japan
Hitoshi OSADA , Suginami City, Japan
Eighty-year-old Japanese seniors were asked if they had started new activities after their age of 70. All seniors aged 80 years living in Suginami City, Metropolitan Tokyo, were invited to participate to a research program organized by the city as her 80-year anniversary. Among the seniors listed, 2,476 persons responded to a mailed questionnaire (response rate was 66.0%). Over 70% of the respondents (72.1% of men and 72.5% of women) reported their health condition was excellent or fair.

Thirty-nine percent of the respondents (38.7% of men and 39.3% of women) answered that they had started some new activities after age 70. Various activities were reported. The most frequently mentioned new activity was hobby (46.8% of seniors who had started new activities; 37.4% in men and 53.3% in women), followed by athletic activities (35.0%; 33.3% in men and 36.1% in women) and personal computer and/or mobile phone (21.0%; 25.6% in men and 17.7% in women). Not only sedentary activities such as reading and playing games, but also kinetic activities, including walking, swimming, and gymnastics, were indicated. Seniors who were healthy at age 80 were more likely to have such activities than those who were not healthy.

In Japan, where population aging has been rapidly progressing and life expectancy at birth has been rapidly increasing, seniors have become younger and younger than their age-peers in older cohorts, physically as well as socio-psychologically. The results of this first-wave survey of 80-year-old seniors living in a relatively affluent urban area seem to show spryness and "youthfulness" of today's Japanese seniors.