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Chapter 10

SOC375 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Bone Density, Homestay, Lifelong Learning

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Kwame Boadu

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Chapter 10- Leisure, Recreation, and Service
- Many older people continue to develop established skills and talents in retirement; some may develop new
interests; others may turn to community service or start doing volunteer work
- Seniors today have more opportunities for self-development and community service than ever before, and
many have a strong desire to develop themselves and give to others as they age
- For many, the years after retirement become a time of search, discovery, and fulfillment
What Do Older People Do?
- People aged 60-69 report ~7.5 hours of free time per day more free time once they stop working
- Number of studies have looked at what older people do every day
o Most often use their time for activities such as housework, shopping, personal care, leisure, recreation
~7-8 hours per day on leisure activities
o Engage in a variety of social activities, including neighbourhood, community, and school groups
o In retirement, older men and women spend extra time sleeping/resting and personal care (about an
extra 2 hours per day)
- About ½ of older people say they participate in a religious activity at least once a month
- Compared with younger people, seniors spend more of their time on solitary activities and at home
- Stobert and colleagues report on 2 broad types of leisure activity:
o Passive leisure (ex. watching TV, listening to the radio, taking a pleasure drive, etc.)
Senior men spend more time than women on passive leisure (3.7 vs. 3.1 hours)
o Active leisure (ex. reading, playing cards, socializing with friends, physical recreation, etc.)
Seniors spend about 4 hours a day on active leisure
Those with university degrees show the greatest tendency to take part in active leisure
o Also found that health and life satisfaction plaed a role i the older perso’s hoie of leisure atiities
Healthy individuals spent more time on paid/unpaid work and active leisure; less healthy/
satisfied individuals for all age groups spent the most time on passive leisure
- Stats Canada study found that men and women in all age groups show high rates of participation in social
activities with their family, friends, and community
o Participation rates decrease for those in the oldest age groups (75+) in part, due to illness/disability
Also show lowest rates of participation in sports and physical activity (decreases with age)
But oldest show highest rates of participation in religious activities
o Youngest senior group shows the highest rate of participation in volunteer activity (decreases with age)
- People tend to reduce their participation in activities as physical function declines may choose new activities
that better fit their ability or they may focus on fewer activities
- National Advisory Council on Aging states health proles ol partl eplai seiors’ iatiit; a, sipl,
do’t ork phsial atiit ito their dail routies
A Variety of Activity Patterns
- Older people as a group show common approaches to the use of their time often engage in socially satisfying,
non-demanding, non-strenuous activities
o Appears to support the disengagement theory of aging
- Other studies show different activity preferences among different types of seniors
o Income, region, social status, etc. all influence what an older person chooses to do
Those with low income/low education and those with high income/education show the lowest
involvement in pop culture activities (watching TV, listening to music, engaging in crafts, etc.)
People with middle income/education show the most involvement in these activities
Activities tend to vary by season people less active in winter
Compared with seniors in Eastern Canada, those in Western Canada report more physical
activity and more involvement in sports (ex. Newfoundland found to have the lowest activity
level while BC was found to have the highest)
o Social context and local cultures can influence activities
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Sport Participation
- Despite the highly promoted beliefs of physical activity, most Canadians are relatively inactive inactivity
increases with age (social norms support inactivity)
o Norms and stereotypes about old age influence the level of sport activity
- Show a similarly low level of participation in sports
o Sport participation declined for all age groups between 1992 and 2005; mostly for those 55+
o Older non-active Canadians aged 55+ report age as the biggest factor for not participating; followed by
health conditions and lack of interest in sport
- Yet nearly all seniors see the physical health benefits of participating in sport and the value of sport as a form of
relaxation; large majority also see the value of sport as a family activity and as a way to make new friends, as
well as a way to gain a sense of achievement
- Predictions that the aging of the population is likely to have a negative influence on levels of sport participation
o Trend is likely to continue into the future, further decreasing the rate of sport participation in Canada
o Especially baby boomers due to the sheer numbers, likely to reduce the rate of sport participation
- Marital status and gender influence activity level
o Loss of a spouse (more common for women than men) decreases activity level over time
o Fewer older women do strength training exercises; some even have negative views of strength and
fleiilit traiig as it’d lead to ijur ad illess
These women often feel frail due to inactivity, lack experience with exercise, and accept age
and gender stereotypes
o At all ages, men are more active than women in sports
May reflect the fact that fewer women than men have spouses with whom to share sports
activity women often have more responsibilities in the home
May be explained by the fact that they have more chronic illnesses
May also point to the lack of past opportunities for women to participate in sports
Difference in activity level between men and women may decrease in the future
- Research shows that health, education, income, and social status all shape leisure in retirement
o Age cohorts may develop leisure subcultures (ex. older cohorts today may prefer more passive leisure,
while younger cohorts of seniors live a more active old age)
o Lack of knowledge about benefits of vigorous physical activity or attitudes influence older age groups
Expanding Leisure Activity
- Most of the research on aging and leisure supports the continuity theory of aging people often keep the
leisure preferences in retirement that they had in middle age
o Genoe and Singleton found this pattern in an in-depth study of 8 older Canadian men
They played sports in their youth and stayed active into later old age
Although, they decreased their sports activity but they still danced and walked for
exercise these men adapted to aging by keeping active but changing the focus
May explain their high life satisfaction
- 2 theories to aout for older people’s leisure patters:
o Continuity theory people often keep the leisure preferences in retirement that they had in middle age
Contractors- people who have stopped at least one outdoor activity in the past year and have
not learned any new activity since age 65, in keeping with the disengagement theory of aging
Continued the same activities they learned in childhood
o Life-span developmental perspective states that people can change, grow, and develop at every age
Expanders- people ho hae’t stopped a atiities i the past ear ad hae added at least
one new outdoor activity since age 65, in keeping with the life-span developmental theory
Continued to add activities throughout life
- Leisure education can help people find new ways to enjoy life in retirement
o Research supports the relationship between leisure activity and improved physical and psychological
o Leisure education can help members use leisure as a way to take care of themselves
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