Bupa's 'How are you Britain?' Report Reveals Rise of Athletic Older People

By Bupa, PRNE
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

LONDON, February 2, 2011 - Bupa has revealed that the over-60s are fitter than ever, leaving their
younger counterparts behind when it comes to exercise.

Research from the Bupa 'How are you Britain?' report reveals that UK
residents who are 60 plus are three times more likely to exercise every day
than those in their 20s*.

In fact, nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of over 60s work out at least
five times a week, with just 15 per cent of 20-somethings making a similar

It's age-defying celebrities who are spurring on the athletic older
people (AOPs). Bupa's research placed the yoga-toned Helen Mirren (aged 65)
at the top of the list of such inspirational celebrities (19 per cent),
closely followed by Joanna Lumley (15 per cent).

As a result of exercise, the over 60s are enjoying a greater quality of
life, with a third (33 per cent) losing weight and over a quarter (26 per
cent) feeling less stressed. A few even attribute their better luck with the
opposite sex** to exercise.

All this physical activity is helping the 60 plus generation to feel
younger than their years (70 per cent***) as well as doing wonders for their

Simon Fairthorne, musculoskeletal physiotherapist from Bupa's Barbican
Centre for Sports Medicine, London, said: "The benefits this generation is
experiencing from exercise are substantial - they are less likely to suffer
from chronic illness than their parents and have a longer life expectancy. It
also helps reduce the risk of serious health conditions such as heart
disease, high cholesterol, as well as improving mental health and overall

"The emergence of the AOPs is very encouraging as more than a third (37
per cent) of over 60s feel they are exercising more now than they did 10
years ago."

For most, walking is the most popular form of exercise (79 per cent),
followed by swimming (19 per cent) and cycling (13 per cent). However there
are also those who are embracing the new keep fit methods provided by
technology with three per cent doing exercise programmes on gaming consoles
such as the Wii Fit and X-Box Kinect.

Not content with general exercise, some AOPs are going one step further
and competing in endurance sports events.

In fact, the Bupa Great North Run has experienced a 14 per cent boost in
entries over the past five years in the older age group****.

About Bupa:

Bupa's purpose is to help people lead longer, healthier, happier lives.

A leading international healthcare group, it offers health insurance
products (
www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/health-life-cover/health-insurance), travel
insurance (www.bupa.co.uk/travel/), travel insurance for business
(www.bupa.co.uk/business/all-business/travel-insurance) and advice on
things such as the flu jab (
www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/keeping-well/flu-vaccinations), runs care
homes for older people and hospitals, and provides workplace health services,
health assessments and chronic disease management services, including health
coaching, and home healthcare.

    Notes to Editors:

    *    14 per cent of over 60s exercise everyday versus five per cent of
    **   One per cent of the over 60's have found a new partner.
    ***  Bupa Health Pulse 2010 Research: Ipsos MORI interviewed 1,000 UK
         adults between 10 June and 14 July 2010.
    **** Bupa Great North Run Series data.

    For more information please contact:
    Zerrin Levy
    PR Office
    Bupa House
    15-19 Bloomsbury Way
    Tel: +44(0)207-656-2454

For more information please contact: Zerrin Levy, PR Office, Bupa House, 15-19 Bloomsbury Way, London, WC1A2BA, Tel: +44(0)207-656-2454

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