Retirees on the search for retirement properties with sporting activities

Blog posted

29th August 2014

The old adage that retirement means winding down, putting your feet up and taking life at a slightly slower pace does not bear any resemblance to reality in today’s world.

Sport England’s latest Active People Survey says there has been a 11% rise (approx 132,000 people) in the number of people aged 55-plus who have taken up regular physical activities three or more times a week since 2012.

If you compare this with 2007’s figures, the increase is 42%. More information on the surveys can be found here.

This is actually terrific news and echoes what our own in-house evidence is telling us.

It’s terrific news because an active retirement lifestyle naturally means a healthier well being in later life, as endorsed here by the NHS which has information on exactly how much older adults need to be exercising each week.

Our in-house evidence is largely anecdotal and based on what our residents are telling us and actively doing in our 14 retirement villages across the UK.

Our last survey (2011) proved that our retirees place great value on activities in general – both physical and social.

We asked them first about activities they take part in outside the village. They were able to list as many activities as they wanted and the data (below) makes for interesting reading with dining out at the top, arts and theatre next and exercise/sport following next.

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Arts/Theatre Bowls Bridge Church Dining out Exercise/Sport Voluntary work None Other
41.7% 7.6% 13.8% 28.2% 65.3% 31.6% 14.4% 15.3%/td>n 15.9%

Other activities listed included plenty of sporty pursuits such as working on an allotment, travelling, dancing, Mah Jong, yoga, croquet and fishing. Among the more unusual ones cited was masonry!

When it comes to activities within our villages there was a varied selection of answers but all pointed to a healthy and vibrant lifestyle. Here is the list:

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Coffee mornings 52.4%
Luncheons 50.1%
Film 47.8%
Music 42.8%
Trips out 41.1%
Reading 28.3%
Quiz events 25.1%
Exercise/Gym 22.8%
Gardening 21.8%
Theme events 20.2%
Outdoor pursuits 18.6%
Arts/Crafts 17.9%
Bridge 16.1%
Church 15.9%
Dancing 15.4%
Other 11.7%
Bowls 10.6%
Drama 4.6%

Other less frequent activities that didn’t make the main table include snooker, table tennis, knitting, putting, croquet, walking and boules.

It is pleasing to see the wide range of retirement village activities. Our retirement village model was first created over 30 years ago with sporting and social activities
very much at the heart of village life. As well as the health benefits we maintain that sport and exercise are great ways to meet new people, strike up conversations and develop new friendships. This has most definitely happened and is a wonderful added benefit of all of these activities.

Sporty retirement properties are likely to be in high demand if the Sport England trend continues. We welcome this news. As people get older, there are times when their network of friends can drop off and risks of loneliness become more prevalent. If a retirement community can offer plenty of opportunities to keep fit and socialise at the same time, then it can be a valuable asset not only for this age group but also wider society as a whole.

We have a residents’ diary page for each of our villages. Contributions for this come directly from our residents. If you want to see for yourself what types of activities take place in our villages, feel free to browse through them. Here’s the link to Castle Village’s diary page, for instance.

If this has inspired you to want to do more exercise yourself here are a couple of interesting sites to check out.

There are some useful tips on this Babyboomers Retiring website on activities and other ways to keep fit – both physically and mentally.

Helpguide.org is an American site but it has some very useful information on staying healthy over 55 and I’d recommend giving it a read if you have some spare time.

Sarah Burgess
Sales and Marketing Director