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Hobbies and pursuing passions help those in later life

Published on 30 June 2011 11:30 PM

Hobbies and pursuing passions help those in later life enjoy and live life to the max

New Age UK advert and research show age is no barrier to pursuing hobbies and passions.

  • Nearly three quarters (71 per cent) of Brits have tried new activities since turning 60*
  • 53 per cent revel in the freedom that the later years offer
  • One in five (20 per cent) say active hobbies help them feel younger

Stills from Age UK's tv advert for July 2011 showing a happy group of people in later life.

CAPTION: Older people on set at the filming of the new Age UK advert

Many people over 60 years of age in the UK are embracing their later years by taking up new hobbies and activities, according to research from Age UK. 71 per cent* of those over 60 years old are tackling new challenges like learning a foreign language, taking to the dance floor, or even getting the adrenaline pumping with outdoor activities like bungee jumping, kayaking and mountain climbing.

The new survey looks at attitudes to later life of people aged 18+ and has been conducted to mark the launch of a new TV advertising campaign from Age UK. Reflecting the positive attitudes of many of those aged 60+ who describe their lifestyle as interesting (38 per cent), varied (42 per cent), fun (20 per cent) and rewarding (24 per cent), the new advert shows the nation that growing older does not mean that hobbies and passions stop. It features people doing what they enjoy, celebrating later life and all it can offer. This is in sharp contrast to some of the younger generations' perception of old age as boring (17 per cent of 16-24-year-olds) and slower-paced (over 20 per cent of all under-60s).

Amongst those featured are a Tai Chi group, tap dancers, ballroom dancers, a 91 year-old bodybuilder, a unicyclist and an 81 year-old singing leading lady. Many of the cast are people who have been directly helped by Age UK. The advert aims to show the different services and products that Age UK offers and how it can help people to make the most of later life.

The variety of hobbies and activities on the to-do lists of the over 60s includes:

Top hobbies 60+ would like to try

Learn a new language 25 per cent
Dancing 22 per cent
Learn a new skill 21 per cent
Bike riding 10 per cent
Fun nights out 11 per cent
Acting 8 per cent


8 per cent
Yoga 7 per cent
A new sport 6 per cent
Dating 5 per cent
Adrenaline activities 3 per cent

Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK, said: 'Through our research and uplifting new TV advert we hope to show another side to growing older and encourage people of all ages to reassess some common perceptions of later life. One in five (21 per cent) say that they have felt more comfortable in their own skin since they reached 60 years of age, and this confidence helps give people the drive to try activities they have always wanted to, or to return to previous passions. This advert is about celebrating age - showing that growing older does not have to be a barrier to making the most of life and the different things that Age UK does for older people.'

The new advert airs on ITV on Monday 4 July, during Emmerdale, and will run for three weeks. To get a sneak preview of the ad before if goes live, people can visit

The new advert is part of the Charity's new Ageing Better Together campaign, because at Age UK, it's not just about living longer, it's about living healthily and happily for longer. So this summer, the Ageing Better Together campaign will give people practical ways to feel better and to stay fit and active every day. Whether it's providing information, encouraging activity, or helping to get the most from health services, Age UK intends to ensure that people are getting as much out of life as possible. Get involved in Ageing Better Together by volunteering, campaigning, or even taking on a personal challenge to raise funds. For more information and to find out how to get involved, visit or call Age UK Advice on 0800 169 6565.

- ENDS -

For further information about the research or new Age UK advertising campaign, please contact a member of the team at 3 Monkeys on 0207 009 3100 or email

Stills from the TV ad and case studies of people embracing later life are available on request.

Notes to editors

*All statistics should be accredited to the research, which polled a total of 2,000 respondents; including 345 adults aged 60+, in June 2011. The research was carried out by OnePoll on behalf of Age UK.

About Age UK

For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.

Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged, dedicated to improving later life. We provide free information, advice and support to over five million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

Media contact: Ashley Cox
Telephone: 020 3033 1429
Out of hours: 07071 243 243

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Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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