Over 50s' health shortcomings revealed

Survey exposes older generation's reluctance to exercise

Deeply entrenched attitudes among the over 50s about health are revealed today in a survey which suggests many are aware they are overweight yet remain reluctant to do anything to change that.

More than half (52%) of some 2,000 people surveyed say they are overweight yet one in three do no exercise at all.

The study shows that in fact it is not just the over 50s who fail to do enough. Almost a third (29%) of all adults say they do no exercise in an average week, blaming lack of time and motivation and simple laziness for failing to do so.

While 37% of over 50s who do not exercise say it is because they are physically unable to, a “shocking” 30% of 18-24s say it is because they are too self-conscious, Saga said.

The survey, carried out for Saga Health Insurance, also shows that a fifth (21%) of over 50s say they smoke while on average the over-50s drink 9.5 units of alcohol a week, with men (11.7 units) much more likely to drink than women (4.7 units). One in seven (14%) over 50s drink more than 21 units of alcohol a week.

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