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Are today's older people more active than their predecessors? Participation in leisure-time activities in Sweden in 1992 and 2002

Cambridge University Press
Publication Date
  • Gender
  • Sweden
  • Aged
  • Leisure Activities
  • Participation
  • Medicine And Health Sciences
  • Education


For the older individual, leisure activities are a resource that helps to maintain health and engagement with lire. This article investigates change over 10 years ill the level of participation of older people in leisure activities in Sweden, and the factors associated with these changes. The data are from nationally representative samples of the Swedish population aged 77 or more years in 1992 and 2002. The level of participation was higher at the later date, and among four major groups of activities, social and Cultural activities increased the most, while physical and intellectual activities increased only among women. Ordered logistic regressions enable variations in the level of participation by age, gender, level of education, disability and fatigue to be described. Participation in most kinds of activities, including the overall level, was more common at the younger ages (the late seventies and early eighties) and among those with full mobility and more education. Since average health was worse in 2002 than in 1992, it cannot explain the higher level of participation. Other possible explanations, Such as cohort differences, improved accessibility, and changing gender roles, and the implications for health promotion programmes are discussed.

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