Patterns of older Australians' engagement in health-promoting activities: A latent profile analysis

Simone Pettigrew, Liyuwork Mitiku Dana, Michelle I. Jongenelis, Ben Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Being active in later life is key to remaining physically and mentally healthy, and health in turn influences individuals' ability to remain active. Activity prevalence figures can disguise the existence of clusters of older people who are very active due to regular participation in multiple categories of activity versus those who are sedentary. The aim of this study was to conduct segmentation analyses based on retired seniors' engagement in various activities (walking, active sport/exercise, gardening and volunteering) to identify groups characterised by varying patterns of participation. The sample comprised 746 Western Australians aged 60+ years (range 60-95 years, average age 71.66 years, standard deviation = 6.57), 61 per cent of whom were female. Using latent profile analysis, four distinct segments emerged. Those respondents classified as belonging to the most active group exhibited moderate to high levels of participation across all four forms of activity, and tended to be older and more educated than other respondents. Those allocated to the least active group had very low levels of participation across most of the assessed activities and the least favourable physical and mental health scores. Overall, the results indicate the existence of highly divergent segments within the older population in terms of participation across various combinations of health-promoting activities. Segment membership appears to be more closely associated with physical and psychological factors than socio-demographic characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1176-1190
Number of pages15
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2022


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