Promoting Senior Fitness Keeps Health Providers Top of Mind

BY Courtney Huckabay
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Healthways SilverSneakers Fitness members prove youth is a state of mind. The annual participation survey reveals older adults turn to fitness for optimal health. Healthways SilverSneakers® Fitness, an exercise program exclusively designed for older Americans, announced the results of its Annual Participation Survey.

The survey measured the activity level, fitness attitudes and health outcomes of more than 27,000 participating SilverSneakers members, aged 65 and older, across 50 states. The results reveal an active generation of older adults who are turning to fitness to achieve overall health and well-​being – including high levels of energy and mental balance.

Fitness gurus should take note of senior spending power when it comes to reaching goals. AudienceSCAN results showed 43.4% of Seniors set personal goals to lose weight this year.

  • SilverSneakers participants assert they are in good physical and mental health, with 94 percent stating their health is good, very good or excellent
  • 96 percent stating they have felt calm and peaceful some, most or all of the time
  • Additionally, participants maintain high levels of energy, with 90 percent having “a lot of energy” some to all of the time
  • These results can be correlated to frequency of exercise, with 84 percent completing aerobic activity three or more times per week
  • 64 percent completing muscle strengthening exercises three or more times per week
  • 49 percent completing flexibility exercises three or more times per week

The fitness industry can reach Seniors with print advertising. AudienceSCAN research revealed 23% of Seniors took action after seeing ads in newspapers (print, online, mobile or tablet) in the past month.

For the fourth year in a row the survey has affirmed the role SilverSneakers has in improving the lives of older adults through increased physical and emotional health. Additionally, insights about member preferences gained through the survey help us evolve our overall program – such as additional class formats, venues and intensity levels through our FLEX and BOOM offerings," says Joy Powell, Chief Operating Officer of Network Solutions at Healthways.

Encourage Seniors to hit their fitness goals with marketing that has a relaxed and comfortable feeling. According to AudienceSCAN results, 48.2% of Seniors want to buy things that make them feel "healthy;" 57.7% want to feel "comfortable;" and 40.1% want to feel "relaxed."

The survey also revealed the impact of socialization and camaraderie that SilverSneakers classes play on fitness results, as 49 percent of members report the desire to spend time with other SilverSneakers members helped motivate them to exercise. And, 72 percent of members have received or provided encouragement to a fellow member while participating in a SilverSneakers class.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.