Article ID: JE20180108
Background: Participation in leisure activities (LA) is essential for successful aging. Our aim was to investigate the cross-sectional association of types of LA with self-rated health (SRH) by gender and work status.
Methods: The target population was all residents aged ≥65 years in a municipality (n = 16,010; response rate, 62.5%). We analyzed 4,044 men and 4,617 women without disabilities. LA were categorized into 14 types. SRH was assessed through the SF-8. Excellent or very good SRH was defined as positive SRH. Covariates included age, marital status, education, subjective economic status, body mass index, chronic diseases, alcohol, smoking, walking time, depression, and cognitive functioning. Multiple logistic regressions were used to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for positive SRH, with non-participation as the reference.
Results: After adjustment for covariates and mutual adjustment for other LA, participation in the following types of LA was positively associated with positive SRH: sports activities among working men (OR 1.46; 95% CI, 1.07–2.00), non-working men (OR 1.33; 95% CI, 1.04–1.69), and non-working women (OR 1.74; 95% CI, 1.41–2.15); cooking among non-working men (OR 1.65; 95% CI, 1.18–2.33) and non-working women (OR 1.28; 95% CI, 1.03–1.60); musical activities among working men (OR 1.44; 95% CI, 1.01–2.05) and non-working women (OR 1.59; 95% CI, 1.29–1.95); and technology usage only among working men (OR 1.41; 95% CI, 1.01–1.96). In contrast, TV watching was negatively associated with positive SRH among non-working women (OR 0.69; 95% CI, 0.56–0.85).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that encouraging older adults to participate in types of LA appropriate to their gender and work status might be a key to positive SRH.