Most Popular Sports for Retirees Around the World

New research has discovered which countries are the most accessible for senior citizens wanting to participate in various sports and leisure activities, with the UK taking the top spot.

The hearing aid specialists at ReSound’s report analysed the top 30 most developed countries worldwide to discover which destinations are the most accessible to older generations wanting to participate in various outdoor and indoor sporting activities.

The UK is the best country for retirees to participate in sports and leisure activities, scoring 99.5/110. Gym classes and swimming sessions are the most readily available activities for senior citizens in the UK. Pilates, yoga, dance classes, and lawn bowling are also particular favourites with the older generation and are easily accessible to the population.

Climbing the ranks to third is Australia, with a score of 81.2/110 for its variety of accessible sports and activities for its more mature residents.

Countries with the most golf courses for retirees to enjoy

For many active seniors with an abundance of free time, a leisurely day out on the green is one of the most popular activities to enjoy. The Senior Sports Report reveals which countries are home to the most golf courses.

Unsurprisingly, Ireland tops the table as the country offering the most choice to golf fanatics of all levels, with 341 courses. The island is home to world-class golf clubs that offer up the stunning scenery and some of the most challenging courses for amateurs to conquer.

Canada follows closely behind with its range of 336 golf courses that are definitely above par. The popular Cabot Cape Breton has a range of legendary courses, including Cabot Links, designed by golf course architect Rod Whitman, and boasting an oceanfront landscape and rolling fairways.

Rounding up the top three is the UK, which offers 330 golf courses to explore for a day on the green. The Old Course at St Andrews Golf Links in Scotland is amongst the most elite courses in the world, with its famous features the Swilcan Bridge and Hell Bunker that are recognised across the globe.

Best countries for older populations to enjoy outdoor activities

Outdoor activities are extremely popular amongst the older generation; whether it’s cycling, walking, golfing or bowling, retirees can do plenty of activities, but which countries offer the best range of outdoor sports to the elderly?

The US has been crowned the best country for the older generation to enjoy outdoor leisure activities, scoring 42.5/50.

Residents in America can visit several green spaces to enjoy a stroll or take in the scenic sights of the country on two wheels on one of its many cycle routes. Keen bowls players will also be in their element in the US, as it has a range of lawn bowling locations.

Following closely behind in second place is the UK, scoring 40.7/50 for its outdoor activities for the elderly. Avid gardeners are lucky in the UK, as it is home to several allotments where senior citizens can grow everything from fruit and vegetables to their favourite plants and flowers.

France is the third-best country for retirees to enjoy outdoor leisure activities, with an overall score of 36.6/50. Senior cyclists can take advantage of the many cycle routes around France that offer picturesque views of canals, coastlines, mountains and historic villages.

Countries offering the best indoor activity options for the elder population

Indoor sports can often be more accessible to the elder population, as activities can be enjoyed without the interference of wind noise that impacts hearing quality. They are often less active and physically demanding than outdoor activities.

Many countries offer extensive sporting activities, from yoga and pilates to swimming, dancing and gym classes, but which country takes the crown for the best indoor activities?

The UK secures the title as the best country for its variety of indoor activities for older members of the public, with a total score of 58.8/60. Active senior citizens in the UK can enjoy a range of indoor exercises from swimming solo to group activities like gym classes, dance classes, yoga and pilates.

Australia is second in its indoor activity offerings for retirees, scoring 53.2/60. With a wide range of dance classes, senior residents in Australia can enjoy everything from Zumba and salsa to ballroom dancing.

It is taking the final spot in the top three in the US, with a score of 48.3/60, for its active indoor activities for mature active members. Health and fitness clubs, yoga, pilates, and swimming are among the most popular activities for elderly residents in America.

Methodology and data sources

The Senior Sports Report by the hearing aid specialists at ReSound discovers which sporting activities and hobbies undertaken by senior citizens (60+) are the most popular worldwide and determines which countries are the most inclusive to retirees. Taking a seed list of the top 30 developed countries around the world, the report discovers how accommodating each country is for senior sports and retirees by analysing the following metrics:

  • Number of green spaces and parks
  • Number of gym classes for senior citizens
  • Number of senior swim sessions available
  • Number of health and fitness clubs and gyms
  • Number of senior citizen dance classes and clubs
  • Golf courses and clubs
  • Lawn bowls pitches and clubs
  • Number of allotments
  • Yoga and pilates studios
  • Number of swimming pools
  • Number of cycle routes