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The Most Popular Sports For Retirees Around The World

Most Popular Sports For Retirees


For those retirees looking to lead active lifestyles and enjoy partaking in a range of indoor and outdoor sports, the new Senior Sports Report from the hearing specialists at ReSound has determined which of the 30 most developed countries in the world are the most popular and accessible to older generations in order to stay social, and keep fit and healthy.




After researching 30 of the most developed countries around the world, and analysing a number of factors including the number of green spaces, gym classes, swimming clubs, golf courses, allotments, lawn bowls, dance classes, swimming pools, cycle routes, and yoga studios in each country – a ranking score was then assigned to each location out of a possible 110.


Top 10 Most Sport Inclusive Countries for Seniors

Country Total Score /110
1 United Kingdom 99.5
2 United States 90.8
3 Australia 81.2
4 France 80.4
5 Netherlands 78.7
6 Germany 77.9
7 Spain 76.2
8 Switzerland 69.6
9 Japan 69.5
10 Ireland 69.4

Source: ReSound

The UK leads the way as the best country for retirees to participate in sports and leisure activities, with a total score of 99.5/110.

Gym classes and swimming sessions are the most readily available activities for senior citizens to enjoy in the UK. Pilates, yoga, dance classes and lawn bowling are also particular favourites with the older generation. and are easily accessible to the population.

The USA emerges as the second most inclusive country for senior sports activities, with an overall score of 90.8./110.

Retired Americans can enjoy a range of indoor activities from swimming to pilates and yoga, or take advantage of a choice of outdoor activities, including lawn bowling and walks around the many green spaces found across the 50 states.

Climbing the ranks to third is Australia, with a score of 81.2/110 for its variety of accessible sports and activities for its more mature residents.


The Countries with the Most Golf Courses for Retirees to Enjoy

For many active seniors with an abundance of free time, a leisurely day out on the green is one of the most popular activities to enjoy and that’s why the Senior Sports Report reveals which countries are home to the most golf courses.


Top 15 Countries for Golf Courses: 

Country Number of golf clubs/course
1 Ireland 341
2 Canada 336
3 United Kingdom 330
4 Spain 305
5 Germany 296
6 United States 288
7 New Zealand 282
8 Australia 277
9 Japan 258
10 France 252
11 Netherlands 248
12 Sweden 224
13 Finland 224
14 Italy 207
15 Denmark 204

Source: ReSound


Unsurprisingly, Ireland tops the table as the country offering the most choice to golf fanatics of all levels, with 341 courses to choose from. The island is home to some world-class golf clubs that offer up both stunning scenery and some of the most challenging courses for amateurs to conquer.

Canada follows closely behind with its range of 336 golf courses that are definitely above par! The popular Cabot Cape Breton has a range of legendary courses, including Cabot Links, designed by golf course architect Rod Whitman, and boasting an oceanfront landscape and rolling fairways.

Rounding up the top 3 is the UK, which offers 330 golf courses to explore for a day on the green. The Old Course at St Andrews Golf Links in Scotland is amongst the most elite courses in the world, with its famous features the Swilcan Bridge and Hell Bunker that are recognised across the globe.

The best countries for older populations to enjoy outdoor activities

Outdoor activities are extremely popular amongst the older generation, whether it’s cycling, walking, golfing or bowling there’s plenty of activities that retirees can do, but which countries offer the best range of outdoor sports to the elderly?


Top 10 Best Countries For Elder Populations To Enjoy Outdoor Activities: 

Country Green Spaces Score/ 10 Number of Golf Clubs Score /10 Lawn Bowling Score /10 Number of Allotments Score /10 Number of cycle routes Score /10 Outdoor Activities Score /50
1 United States 10 8.3 9.0 6.2 9.0 42.5
2 United Kingdom 3.4 9.3 9.7 9.7 8.6 40.7
3 France 9 6.9 3.8 7.6 9.3 36.6
4 Germany 6.2 8.6 1.7 10.0 10.0 36.5
5 Netherlands 4.5 6.6 8.3 9.3 7.2 35.9
6 Spain 3.8 9.0 7.9 6.9 8.3 35.9
7 Canada 7.2 9.7 6.2 3.8 5.5 32.4
8 Sweden 6.6 5.9 6.2 7.6 4.8 31.1
9 Japan 6.9 7.2 3.8 9.0 4.1 31.0
10 Finland 7.6 5.9 7.2 6.6 3.1 30.4

Source: ReSound


The United States is crowned the best country for the older generation to enjoy outdoor leisure activities, with a total score of 42.5/50.

Residents in America can visit a number of green spaces to enjoy a leisurely stroll or take in the scenic sights of the country on two wheels on one of its many cycle routes. Keen bowls players will also be in their element in the US, as it has a range of lawn bowling locations to play at.

Following closely behind in second place is the United Kingdom, scoring 40.7/50 for its outdoor activities for the elderly. Avid gardeners are in luck in the UK, as it is home to a number of allotments where senior citizens can grow everything from fruit and vegetables, to their favourite plants and flowers.

France earns its spot as the third-best country for retirees to enjoy outdoor leisure activities, with an overall score of 36.6/50. Senior cyclists can take advantage of the many cycle routes around France that offer up picturesque views of canals, coastlines, mountains and historic villages.

The Countries Offering The Best Indoor Activity Options For The Elder Population

Indoor sports can often be more accessible to the elder population, as activities can be enjoyed without the interference of wind noise that impacts hearing quality, and they are often less active and physically demanding than outdoor activities.

Many countries offer an extensive choice of sporting activities from yoga and pilates to swimming, dancing and gym classes, but which country takes the crown for the best indoor activities?


Top 10 Countries Offering The Best Indoor Activity Options: 

Country Gym Classes Score/ 10 Swim Sessions Score /10 Health & Fitness Clubs Score /10 Dance Classes Score /10 Number of Yoga/Pilates Score /10 Number of swimming pools Score /10 Indoor Activities Score /60
United Kingdom 10.0 10.0 9.7 9.7 9.7 9.7 58.8
Australia 9.0 9.7 7.9 10.0 9.0 7.6 53.2
United States 6.9 8.6 10.0 2.8 10.0 10.0 48.3
France 6.2 5.9 9.0 6.2 7.9 8.6 43.8
Switzerland 9.3 6.2 6.9 8.3 6.2 5.9 42.8
Netherlands 7.9 9.0 6.2 5.9 6.9 6.9 42.8
Germany 2.8 7.2 7.2 7.6 7.6 9.0 41.4
Ireland 9.3 5.5 5.9 9.0 5.5 5.2 40.4
Spain 5.5 2.8 8.6 4.8 9.3 9.3 40.3
Italy 4.8 2.1 9.3 6.6 8.6 7.9 39.3

Source: ReSound


The United Kingdom secures the title as the best country for its variety of indoor activities for older members of the public, with a total score of 58.8/60. Active senior citizens in the UK can enjoy a range of indoor exercises from swimming solo to group activities like gym classes, dance classes, yoga and pilates.

Australia emerges in second place for its indoor activity offerings for retirees with a score of 53.2/60. With a wide range of dance classes on offer, senior residents in Australia can enjoy everything from Zumba and salsa to ballroom dancing.

Taking the final spot in the top three is the United States with a score of 48.3/60, for its indoor activities for mature active members. Health and fitness clubs, yoga, pilates and swimming are amongst the most popular activities on offer for elderly residents in America.