Relationship between specific leisure activities and successful aging among older adults
Background/objectives: This study was designed to investigate the association between specific leisure activities and successful aging among older adults, using data from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey.
Methods: A total of 7689 older adults were involved in this study and categorized as successful aging group (n = 3989; 51.8%) or non-successful aging group (n = 3703; 48.2%). Participants were identified as successful aging if they had a score of more than 3 points, or as non-successful aging. The points were based on the following five items and each item was assigned 1 point: self-rated health, self-rated psychological status or mood, cognitive function, activities of daily life, and physical activity. Six activities including gardening work, reading newspapers or books, raising domestic animals or pets, playing cards or mahjong, watching TV or listening to radio, and participating in social activities were collected to reflect leisure activities. Chi-square tests, independent sample t-test, and logistic regression analyses were employed to explore the association between specific leisure activities and successful aging.
Results: The prevalence of successful aging was 51.8% among Chinese older adults. A significant positive relationship was found between the frequency of participation in specific leisure activities and successful aging (p < 0.05). Older adults who usually participated in leisure activities had greater odds for successful aging compared to those who never participated in leisure activities (adjusted odds ratio (OR): 1.31 (95% CI: 1.15-1.49) to 1.88 (95% CI: 1.62-2.19)). Older adults participating in one or more leisure activities had greater odds for successful aging compared to those who did not participate in leisure activities (adjusted OR: 1.51 (95% CI: 1.30-1.76) to 4.10 (95% CI: 2.44-6.89)).
Conclusions: The findings provide evidence that participating more frequently and in more leisure activities was associated with a greater probability of successful aging among Chinese older adults. Encouraging older people to participate frequently in a larger number of leisure activities may be a key to promote successful aging. Therefore, the frequency and number of participation in leisure activities should be highlighted and targeted for promoting successful aging.