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Shuffle Off, Shuffleboard: The Least-Favorite Senior Activities

Shuffleboard and horseshoes may be official events in the National Senior Games, but according to After55.com’s recent senior activities survey, event organizers might want to reconsider. Those stereotypical retirement pastimes were among the least-favorite activities for our respondents.

More than 700 people ages 50 to 89 completed After55.com’s survey, choosing among 25 possible activities in senior housing. The favorite senior activities were clear: exercise and yoga classes, walking and hiking, swimming and water aerobics. Just as clear were the activities in which retirees don’t want to participate.

Here, from bad to worse, are the least-favorite senior activities in our survey.

Graphic of least favorite retirement activities: Shuffleboard is tops at just 2 percent.5. Lawn games (horseshoes, mini golf)

With interest from 5.34% of voters, lawn games like horseshoes or mini golf were the fifth-least-attractive activity. These may be great ways to stay engaged for some, but seniors in our survey wanted much more active exercise.

“Old ain’t dead!” one survey respondent commented.

4. Sing-alongs / karaoke

Just 4.94% of our survey-takers were interested in sing-alongs or karaoke. Not everyone wants to be the center of attention, apparently. Instead, seniors in our survey would rather attend cultural events (31.5%) or watch movies (28.3%) than be the star of the show.

3. Tennis / pickleball / badminton

These activities netted a vote from only 3.2% of those surveyed. While these activities, especially tennis, are excellent ways to stay active in 55-plus communities, our survey respondents wanted alternatives. In fact, about 18.8% of our respondents chose dancing instead!

2. Wii sports and video games

Coming in second to last in our survey were Wii sports and video games, a choice of 2.8% of respondents. That result is surprising. After all, senior spending on electronic video games and other “miscellaneous entertainment” has grown almost 10% annually since 1990. Seniors have even organized events like the National Senior League Wii Bowling Championships.

Man playing shuffleboard alone.1.  Shuffleboard

Pack up your pucks. Attracting just 2% of respondents, shuffleboard takes the dubious honor as the least-favorite senior activity in After55.com’s survey. This low number appears to reflect a trend among retirement homes.

The Palm Beach Post reported that membership in the Florida Shuffleboard Association declined by nearly half over a decade, from 25,000 in 2004 to 13,600 in 2013.

“Retirement is different now,” Frank Lamb, president of the Boynton Beach Shuffleboard Club, told the Palm Beach Post. “People have more money, so they can afford to play golf and tennis. They’re not going to play what they think is ‘that old man’s game.’”

What are your least-favorite senior activities?

What would you like to be doing – instead of playing shuffleboard – in your retirement community? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • About Mark Edelen:

    Welcome to the After55.com Senior Living Blog. I direct and edit the blog for the best senior-housing and senior-living insight and advice, while also conducting search-engine optimization for the site as a whole. Follow me on Twitter @MarkEdelen.

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    1. […] Or … is it? It is if your grandmother is really into yoga and hiking, and she doesn’t give a hoot for pickleball or shuffleboard. […]

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