Exploring the role and meaning of leisure in healthy aging among older adults with chronic conditions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is currently no consensus on the definition of healthy aging and healthy aging can mean different things in different contexts. Therefore, this study explored the meaning of healthy aging and leisure to generate insights about the role of leisure in the process of healthy aging among older adults with chronic conditions. Taking a qualitative approach, in-depth interviews were conducted with 11 older adults from three locations in a medium-sized Midwestern U.S. city. Five themes emerged that described how participants defined healthy aging in the context of leisure: avoiding boredom, keeping mind and body active, meaningful social connections, sense of purpose, and enjoyment and satisfaction. Although participants described benefits of leisure as an important part of their lives across the life course, it was noticeable that older adults’ leisure pursuits changed in later life when they sought activities with more social and cognitive value than physical benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-700
Number of pages19
JournalAnnals of Leisure Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2023


  • Aging
  • chronic conditions
  • healthy aging
  • leisure
  • self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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