Healthy Aging and Happiness in the Korean Elderly Based upon Leisure Activity Type
Background: Leisure activities contribute to a healthy retirement and increase the life satisfaction of the elderly, who may suffer from a stronger sense of emotional isolation, depression, and loneliness.
Methods: A total of 397 elderly Koreans aged 65 and over participated in this study on the differences in healthy aging and happiness depending on type of leisure activity (i.e., active, passive, and social activities). A cross-sectional survey design with a purposive sampling method to collect data were employed. SPSS 23.0 was used to conduct descriptive statistics analysis, reliability analysis, validity analysis, and one-way MANOVA.
Results: In terms of social health, the passive leisure participants had relatively lower mean scores than the other two groups. For the physical health factor, the active leisure participants had higher mean scores. There were no statistically significant differences in the levels of psychological health and happiness with life for the elderly participating in the active, passive, and social leisure activities. This study found that only active leisure activities help the elderly to enjoy their old age by increasing their physical health, indicating that the dissatisfaction and unhappiness incurred with the natural aging process can only be offset by a physical lifestyle. Furthermore, passive leisure activities that are enjoyed alone may impede a socially-healthy aging process.
Conclusion: While all forms of leisure activity can provide emotional stability, active leisure activity was deemed the most important in this study, as it helped resolve the most significant hurdle to maintaining health.
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