Sport for Adults Aged 50+ Years: Participation Benefits and Barriers

Claire R Jenkin, Rochelle M Eime, Hans Westerbeek, Jannique Gz van Uffelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


Despite the health benefits of sport, the proportion of people participating in sport decreases with age. This qualitative study explored the benefits and barriers regarding older adult community sport participation, from the perspective of national sporting organizations, in addition to older adult sport club and nonsport club members, across eight focus group interviews (n = 49). Seven benefits were discussed, primarily social and physical health and intergenerational opportunities. Ten barriers were also discussed, including physical health, time constraints, and lack of appropriate playing opportunities. Ensuring access to activities that can benefit social health is of great importance to older adults. As sport can provide participation opportunities across generations, it can be an ideal physical activity option for this age group. However, a major barrier is that sport policy often prioritizes the participation for younger age groups. Policymakers should include a focus on older adults, to derive social health benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity (JAPA)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Active aging
  • Qualitative study
  • Social health
  • Socioecological model
  • Sport participation


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