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04 Jul 2022

New report finds women over 50 are three times more likely than men to read for pleasure

New report finds women over 50 are three times more likely than men to read for pleasure

New report finds women over 50 are three times more likely than men to read for pleasure

New research has found that women over 50 years of age are three times more likely than men to read for pleasure weekly. 

That's according to a report by The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), which discovered that participating in creative activity in adult years promotes health and well-being, and reduces loneliness, depression and stress. 

The study collected information on the experience of ageing across health, economic and social circumstances from over 8,500 people aged 50 and over who live in Ireland. 

Overall, it found that 53.5% of older adults surveyed were involved in creative activities on a weekly basis, with 26% reporting higher engagement in creative hobbies during Covid-19 lockdown. 

Those with the highest levels of creative involvement reported the highest quality of life. 

It was also found that involvement in creative pursuits was consistent between ages 50-74, but declined rapidly from age 75 and older. 

Declining vision and health were noted as having an impact on participation in creative activity, with non-smokers and people who engaged in physical activity reporting high levels of involvement. 

Principal Investigator of TILDA and Professor of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin, Rose Anne Kenny, said, "With well over a decade of research complete, TILDA has a unique and rich dataset to draw upon to show key aspects of successful ageing. This report highlights that participation in creative activities is high among older adults, and has a strong positive effect on overall physical health, mental health and quality of life. These are important research observations.

"In order to help more older adults engage with creative activities, policies that enable participation in creative activities and remove barriers of access irrespective of disability are a potential means of improving health and wellbeing in a fast growing ageing demographic." 

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