Often the words ‘diet,’ ‘nutrition,’ and ‘fitness’ are associated with the youth of a nation, while senior citizens are perceived as living a life that’s limited. However, the Positive Aging Report by India’s largest senior living community operator, Columbia Pacific Communities, offers some startling insights that absolutely debunk various stereotypes around how diet and fitness are perceived amongst the elderly.
As per the report, senior citizens were found to be most focused on health and fitness. With regards to their dietary intake, 71% of respondents older than 60 years were careful about their diet, compared to only 58% for millennials and Gen Z. While exercise and fitness are also regarded as passions of the youth, the findings were surprising with 79% of elderly compared with only 69% of millennials and Gen Z considered daily exercise as important.
Speaking on the matter, Mohit Nirula, Chief Executive Officer, Columbia Pacific Communities, said, “The Positive Aging Report breaks several myths around the elderly. The findings indicate that senior citizens value health, nutrition, and exercise more than the younger generations. They look forward to positive aging and aspire to remain healthy and fit, while living their lives to the fullest. It is their aspiration to begin new careers, pursue old hobbies, engage in philanthropic or social welfare activities, which keeps them going. This could be a reason for their conscious and consistent focus on health and fitness, as their urge to keep working and remaining consistent is the strongest past the age of 60.”
The report also indicates the marginal difference between elderly men and women with regards to health and fitness. It was estimated that 82% of elderly men and 71% of women consider daily exercise important, while 28% of men and only 22% women over 60 are ‘extremely careful’ about their nutrition. This could be an outcome of women continuing to shoulder greater responsibility of homes, which would leave them with less time for monitoring diet or investing in physical exercise.
Released by the Columbia Pacific Communities last year, The Positive Ageing Report 2021 is based on face-to-face and telephonic interviews conducted by Innovative Research Services (India) Pvt. Ltd. Over 2,000 respondents older than 18 from Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune participated in the study. The respondents between 18 and 35 years are referred to as Gen Z and millennials, and those between 36 and 45 years as Gen X in the report.