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ComRes Survey 4 - Age

Savanta ComRes interviewed 1,004 Welsh adults (16+) online from the 13th August to 16th August 2021. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of Welsh adults by gender, age, region, social grade, and the estimated households with children under 16. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

Participation

How often?

  • Older adults (55+) were around twice as likely to report having done no exercise in the last week, when compared to those in lower age groups (23% of adults aged 55 or older, compared to 12% of those aged 35-54, and 11% of those aged 16-34).
  • Older adults were less likely to report that they are doing more exercise in a week compared to before the pandemic, whilst adults aged between 16 and 34 were more likely to report an increase in exercise in this time frame (20% of adults aged 55+, compared to 32% of people aged 35-54, and 37% of those aged 16-34).

What type of exercise?

  • Younger adults (16-34) were less likely than older individuals to have walked for leisure in the last week (46% of people aged 16-34, compared to 65% of those aged 35-54 and 63% of 55+).
  • Older adults were more likely than other age groups to walk for leisure on most (5+) days (38% of people aged 55+, compared to 29% of those aged 35-54 and 23% of 55+).
  • However, younger adults were more likely to have walked for travel (33% of people aged 16-34, compared to 27% of those aged 35-54 and 23% of 55+),
  • Lower age was correlated with increased likelihood of having run or jogged in the past week (27% of people aged 16-34, compared to 17% of those aged 35-54 and 7% of individuals 55+).
  • Younger adults (16-34) were much more likely to have been to the gym in the last week (21% of people aged 16-34, compared to 12% of those aged 35-54 and 5% of 55+).

Who with?

  • People aged between 35 and 54 were less likely than other age groups to walk for travel with another person (26% of people aged 35-54, compared to 45% of those aged 16-34 and 39% of 55+), whilst older adults (55+) were less likely to walk for leisure with another person compared to younger age groups (40% of people aged 55+, compared to 60% of those aged 35-54 and 65% of adults aged 16-34).

Volunteering

  • Younger adults were more likely to have volunteered (in sport or otherwise) in the last 12 months than older individuals (43% of people aged 16-34, compared to 26% of those aged 35-54, and 16% of those aged 55+)

Younger adults were also more likely to intend to volunteer in the next 12 months, in order to support:

  • The COVID-19 response: 48% of those aged 16-34, 35% of those aged 35-54%, and 28% of those over 55
  • Sport: 46% of those aged 16-34, 36% of those aged 35-54%, and 15% of those over 55
  • Another cause: 52% of those aged 16-34, 34% of those aged 35-54%, and 24% of those over 55

Confidence and Skills 

Facilities

There was a notable correlation between increased age, and reduced confidence in using sports facilities.

This relationship was not impacted by whether a facility was indoors or outdoors, suggesting reduced confidence in older adults may be unrelated to COVID-19 risk.

For example:

  • Artificial Pitches (38% of 16-34, 29% of 35-54, 11% of 55+)
  • Gyms (45% of 16-34, 33% of 35-54, 16% of 55+)
  • Outdoor courts (48% of 16-34, 32% of 35-54, 16% of 55+)
  • Sports halls (38% of 16-34, 26% of 35-54, 13% of 55+)
  • Athletics tracks (32% of 16-34, 30% of 35-54, 8% of 55+)

 

This low confidence of older adults is reflected in their low participation in indoor physical activity (17% of adults aged 55 or older, compared to 30% of those aged 35-54, and 54% of those aged 16-34).

  • Older adults were also less likely to feel more confident in taking part in sport as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination programme, further suggesting low confidence is influenced by factors other than COVID-19 risk (39% of adults aged 55 or older, compared to 49% of those aged 35-54, and 54% of those aged 16-34).
  • Despite this, younger adults were more likely to agree that they worry about leaving home to exercise (47% of adults aged 16-34, compared to 29% of those aged 35-54, and 26% of those aged 55+).
  • Of those who did attend indoor sports facilities, older adults were more likely to feel comfortable:
  • Indoor swimming pools: 93% of adults aged 55 or older, compared to 88% of those aged 35-54, and 82% of those aged 16-34.
  • Indoor gyms: 87% of adults aged 55 or older, compared to 85% of those aged 35-54, and 86% of those aged 16-34.

Motivation and Values

Motivation

  • Younger adults were more likely to have been encouraged to exercise by government guidance (43% of people aged 16-34, compared to 26% of those aged 35-54 and 25% of adults aged 55+).
  • Older adults were less likely to exercise in order to manage their mental health than younger age groups (58% of people aged 55+, compared to 70% of those aged 35-54 and 71% of adults aged 16-34).
  • For all age groups, ‘to be physically healthy’ was the most popular primary reason for taking part in exercise (37% of 55+, 28% of 35-54, 20% 16-34).

Values

  • Older adults were less likely to feel it is important to exercise regularly (63% of people aged 55+, compared to 69% of those aged 35-54 and 67% of adults aged 16-34).
  • Older adults were also less likely to feel that it is more important to exercise during the ongoing pandemic than other times (57% of people aged 55+, compared to 66% of those aged 35-54 and 65% of adults aged 16-34).
  • Younger adults were more likely to feel guilty when they don’t exercise (58% of adults aged 16-34, compared to 51% of those aged 35+)
  • They were also more likely to feel guilty about not exercising more (63% of people aged 16-34, compared to 51% of those aged 35-54 and 45% of adults aged 55+).
  • Younger adults were nearly twice as likely as those aged 35-54, and more than three times as likely as those aged over 55, to feel guilty about wanting to exercise at this time 33% of people aged 16-34, compared to 17% of those aged 35-54 and 9% of adults aged 55+).

 

Access (Opportunity and Resources)

  • Older adults (55+) were less likely to feel they have the ability to be physically active (67% of people aged 55+, compared to 71% of those aged 35-54 and 16-34).
  • However, all age groups were similarly likely to feel they have the opportunity to be physically active (71% of adults aged 35-54, and 68% of adults aged 16-34 and 55+)

Impact of COVID-19        

  • Older adults were the least likely to have found new ways to be active since the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions (43% of people aged 55+, compared to 51% of those aged 35-54 and 55% of adults aged 16-34).
  • Adults aged between 35 and 54 were less likely to feel that they have more time now to be physically active (46% of people aged 35-54, compared to 60% of those aged 16-34 and 56% of adults aged 16-34).
  • Younger adults were more likely to miss the types of physical activity they could do before COVID-19 restrictions (54% of people aged 16-34, compared to 39% of those aged 35-54 and 34% of adults aged 55+).

Awareness

  • Lower age was correlated with an increased understanding of government guidance on taking part in sport (57% of people aged 16-34, compared to 49% of those aged 35-54 and 37% of adults aged 55+).
  • Younger adults were more likely to be aware of Sport Wales’ Back in the Game campaign (20% of people aged 16-34, compared to 14% of those aged 35-54 and 8% of adults aged 55+).

The Experience

  • Younger adults were more likely to find exercise enjoyable and satisfying (64% of people aged 16-34, compared to 59% of those aged 35-54 and 64% of adults aged 55+).
  • They were also more likely to agree that they do not find exercising on their own enjoyable (46% of people aged 16-34, compared to 35% of those aged 35-54 and 38% of adults aged 55+).