Research finds that paid work a 'barrier to exercise' for older women

Older women in paid employment are less likely to take part in leisure-time physical activity, according to research by Birmingham Business School.

Researchers from the Business School found that time constraints imposed by paid work have a negative effect on exercise levels for women in their 50s, 60s and 70s.

Professor Fiona Carmichael, Professor of Labour Economics led the study and said:

Participation in physical exercise declines with age, and working for longer is unlikely to reverse this trend.

Our study suggests that as working lives are extended, constraints on time will bite more deeply into time available for leisure-based physical activity. Since the positive link between physical activity and health is clear, longer working lives make it imperative to support workplace interventions that motivate physical activity in work.’

The study, published in the journal Sport in Society, also identifies fear, embarrassment, lack of confidence, caring responsibilities and limited opportunities as barriers to physical activity for older women.

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