Over 65s the most frequent gym users: Nuffield research
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Over 65s the most frequent gym users: Nuffield research

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In the past you might have expected to see them on the bowling green, but today there’s a good chance that you’ll find an active pensioner pumping iron in the gym.

That’s according to new statistics from Nuffield Health, which reveal that over 65s are the chain’s most active gym users. The not-for-profit wellness provider says that gym usage peaks at age 72 – when members typically rack up eight visits per month on average.

The findings, taken from data across Nuffield Health’s 75 UK gyms, highlight a desire from Britain’s ageing population to remain active well into their 80s. The research chimes with a Barclays report published this week which found leisure providers could be missing out on £16bn in additional revenues each year by failing to adequately cater to the needs of over 65-year-olds.

“The sheer number of older gym users in our gyms speaks volumes about the desire of those in the UK to remain fit and healthy,” said Nuffield Health’s deputy medical director of wellbeing, Dr Aldric Ratajczak.

“The fact that our older members are using the facilities more often than any other is hugely encouraging. We know that regular exercise reduces the risk of memory decline, muscle loss and heart disease. In fact, exercise is the super pill we’ve been looking for to live happier and healthier through our later decades.”

The research was released as Nuffield Health announced its new recovery programme for surgical patients at its hospitals, which will harness the power of the gym to aid recovery and ‘future proof’ them against ill health and sedentary lifestyles.

The three-month Recovery Plus programme combines personalised and focused rehabilitation, nutrition and exercise over three months. It is aimed at people who have undergone surgery for procedures like hip and knee replacement, spinal surgeries, as well as helping women recover more quickly from major gynaecological surgeries including hysterectomy.

“Many patients who come in for surgery have been living with reduced fitness and mobility and are often suffering from related illness like obesity or high blood pressure,” said Nuffield Health’s director of physiotherapy and Recovery Plus lead, Liz Adair.

“Once the surgery has been carried out, patients may return to the sedentary lifestyle they were leading before the surgery because they feel vulnerable, have lost confidence, or have just got out of the habit of being active. We want to encourage patients to get back to a level of fitness that they may have not experienced since long before their problems started.”

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In the past you might have expected to see them on the bowling green, but today there’s a good chance that you’ll find an active pensioner pumping iron in the gym.
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Nuffield Health says gym usage peaks at age 72 – when members typically rack up eight visits per month on average
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