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30 January 2017, 00:00

Fitness trackers raise health awareness among the over 50s

  • Saga estimates that 1.3 million over 50s own a health monitoring device

  • A third of people check their blood pressure and BMI monthly

  • People overhaul health and exercise routine when they stop full-time work

The over 50s are health conscious as around 1.3 million wear health devices, such as Fitbits, apple watches and Jawbones, to make sure they’re doing enough exercise, according to Saga Health Insurance1.

The poll of almost 9,000 over 50s shows that the most common reasons people wear health devices are to motivate them to move more, to get fitter and to keep a closer eye on their health.

It appears as though the over 50s live by the mantra of ‘move more, and eat less’ to keep trim. Many keep a close eye on their weight with around one in three stepping on the scales weekly to make sure they don’t put on unwanted pounds.

As well as monitoring their activity levels and watching their weight the over 50s are keen to keep a close eye on their overall health as more than a third check their blood pressure and one in eight check their BMI monthly.

Stopping full-time work seems to inspire people to give their health and exercise regime an overhaul as around nine out of ten over 50s say they are able to dedicate more time to leisure activities when they’ve retired2.

In fact, more than half of people who have stopped working full time say they’re able to go on more walks and one in ten say they spend more time in the saddle cycling3. In addition, people are also able to enjoy a regular swim and more exercise classes such as yoga, pilates and tai chi.

As well as spending more time doing their favourite activities those who don’t have to go to work every day are also inspired to take up new activities. Around one in six say they have started taking new exercise classes, such as spin and legs, bums and tums in a bid to improve fitness levels in retirement.

More than a third of over 50s are looking to do more exercise this year4 but its important people don’t try to do too much too quickly as it may cause an injury. If Saga Health Insurance customers do have muscle, bone or joint pain then they can call Saga for a free telephone assessment with a physiotherapist. This means people can get health advice quickly and any aches and pains won’t stop them doing what they love to do.

Kevin McMullan, head of Saga Health Insurance commented: “It’s great to see so many over 50s monitoring their health regularly and keeping active. Most people need a friendly push, whether that’s from friends or family or a fitness tracker telling you get up and walk around more. The key to any exercise routine is to find activities you like doing as you’ll then be more likely to keep it up. Looking after your health should not be left too late, keeping fit and looking after your body throughout life is the best way to help ensure an active and enriching life in retirement.”


Notes to editors
1Populus interviewed 8,896 people aged 50 and over online between 18th and 26th April 2016. Results have been weighted to be representative of all GB adults.

2Populus interviewed 7,945 people aged 50 and over online between 18th and 26th June 2016. 6,716 people surveyed were partially or fully retired.

3Populus interviewed 9,539 people aged 50 and over online between 16th and 22nd February 2016. 7,999 people surveyed were partially or fully retired. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For more information visit

4Populus interviewed 9,128 people aged 50 and over online between 13th and 19th December 2016. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For more information visit

About Saga Health Insurance

Saga specialises in understanding the needs of people over 50 and has been providing quality private health insurance for more than 25 years.

  • The health insurance offers:
  • Comprehensive range of plans at competitive prices
  • Prompt access to private medical treatment
  • Access to a wide choice of UK private hospitals

Taking out a Saga HealthPlan is easy, whether you are new to health insurance or switching from your current insurer.

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