Older adults' favorite activities are resoundingly active: Findings from the NHATS study

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Activity is associated with health among older adults yet older adults' favorite activities have rarely been investigated. We analyzed the community dwelling, cognitively-intact sample of NHATS, a nationally representative sample of adults ≥65, who had named their favorite activities (N = 5247). Logistic regression models estimated the odds of choosing a physical activity controlling for demographics, self-rated health, and disability. For all ages, four of the top five most common favorite activities were active: walking/jogging (14%), outdoor maintenance (13%), playing sports (8.9%), and other physical activity (8.7%). These findings sustain in 65–75 year olds. Even in 80–84 year olds, 3 of the top five activities are active. These findings vary by self-rated health (OR = 0.71, p < 0.001), disability (OR = 0.72, p < 0.001) and gender (OR = 0.52, p < 0.001). Policy makers, clinicians, and urban planners can use these results in their work.

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