A higher share of older Indian women physically active than men: Study

A greater share of those above 45 years in the rural areas are physically active compared to their urban counterparts

By Jhumki Kundu, Deepak Pihal
Published: Thursday 24 June 2021
A higher share of older Indian women physically active than men: Study. Photo: Jedraszak / iStock

India’s ageing population is conscious that the daily physical activity prevents chronic illness and keeps them healthy but doesn’t stick to this lifestyle regularly, according to the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI).

A higher proportion of women (69 per cent) were physically active compared to men (60 per cent) among people over 45 years of age (older adults), the report published in January, 2021 stated.


The place of residence also determines how active this age group is. A higher proportion of older adults residing in rural areas (62 per cent) are more physically active than those living in urban areas (55 per cent).

Among older women, however, a bigger share in urban areas (71 per cent) is more active than their rural counterparts (68 per cent).

Over three-fourths residents above 45 years are physically active in Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Puducherry and Nagaland.

The gender gap was also visible in state-wise variations as well. Physical inactivity was lower among older women in every state.

Among older men, the prevalence of physical inactivity is higher in Mizoram (80 pe cent), Delhi (63 per cent), Telangana (62 per cent) and Haryana (60 per cent).

More than half of the women in this age group, however, are physically inactive in Mizoram (75 per cent), Arunachal Pradesh (56 per cent), Delhi (55 per cent) and Haryana (50 per cent).

More exercise leads to a lower chance of cardiovascular and metabolic infection, according to a 2016 study

Inactivity, on the other hand, is the primary determinant of poor physiological fitness and illness in older age, at least equal to the consequences of smoking, drinking, extravagant alcohol consumption and obesity, the paper stated.

The elderly should spend around 150 minutes in a week on moderate-intensity exercises and activities, the World Health Organization recommended in 2016.

Older people may be inspired to improve their exercises if influenced by clinicians, family or friends, through group-based training and supporting self-efficacy for training.

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