How are adults 65 and older spending their time? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2018 adults in this age group are primarily sleeping and watching TV, with little socialization.
Specifically, the report shows that adults 65+ are sleeping almost 10 hours per day, watching TV for up to 4 hours per day, and socializing for less than 1 hour. Other activities include relaxing, reading, using the computer, household chores, and organizational activities. Exercise squeezes in at 15 minutes per day.
Why This Matters
Our daily habits directly affect our health. And healthy lifestyle habits can potentially limit the number of doctor visits and prescription drug usage, therefore reducing medical costs. The healthier we are, the greater our chances of decreased medical costs. By getting a general snapshot of the lifestyle patterns of other adults ages 65 and older we can gain insight on which daily practices to incorporate into our routines.
Here are some tips on how you can incorporate healthy habits into each day.
Some Thoughts on Sleep
7 to 9 hours of sleep is the recommended amount for adults by the Mayo Clinic, so just under 10 hours doesn’t fall too much outside of that range. Why is sleep important? One major reason is mental clarity – not getting enough sleep can affect your thinking and day to day activities. There’s also research indicating not getting enough sleep might lead to weight gain by affecting our metabolism.
Exercise and Movement at All Ages of Life
30 minutes per day is the recommended amount of exercise. The study reported 15 minutes – that’s half the amount of suggested time. If walking for 30 minutes is too much, you can walk for 5 minutes multiple times a day. Try breaking up your activities into smaller time periods if it’s too difficult to sustain the activity. Strength exercises are also important.
Need ideas to keep your exercise plan exciting? Try the following: water aerobics, walking, riding a bike, tai-chi, doubles tennis. Strength exercises include: carrying groceries, basic yoga, sit-ups, any body-resistant exercise. There are plenty of activities you can perform in a group setting, helping to make your workout more enjoyable.
The Importance of Socialization
The BLS Time Use survey reported individuals are spending less than one hour per day socializing. Maybe that’s all some people need for their daily dose of being around others. But I think the biggest takeaway is to be aware of the potential benefits your relationships can have on your health, especially during the later years of life. A close-to 80 year Harvard study found that one thing people need to live a healthy life, especially in their later years, is quality relationships. In fact, this study indicates that the quality of our relationships might just be better indicators of our health than genetics.
The idea of retirement can seem intimidating at times, whether it’s the question of what to do with all your free time or how to save enough for unforeseen costs.
Contact us to find out how to plan for retirement in a way that best suits your lifestyle.