A survey by a leading mobility and daily living aids provider has shown that Baby Boomers feel fitter and healthier than their younger Generation X and Millennial counterparts.

With 14.7 million people in the UK estimated to be in the over 60 age group (almost 23% of the population) and the number of over 65s rising by 278,800 per year, it’s clear that we have an increasingly older population in the UK.

As a result, access to healthcare is becoming more limited and many are noting the importance of staying active as they advance in years to remain healthy for as long as possible.

In order to better understand how the nation views fitness and diet, including how different generations feel about their own health, NRS Healthcare conducted a survey.

The questions were divided into two topics:

Fitness - including how people choose to work out, how often and how important they believe exercise to be

Diet - including how different generations define their diet, the different types of diet they have tried and whether they take vitamins to maintain their health.

The age groups were divided into three commonly known social generations for the purpose of the study:

Millennials: 18-35 ·

Generation X: 35-55

Baby Boomers: 55+

Glasgow Times:


When asked how they would define their overall fitness, Baby Boomers came out top: 86% of this group described themselves as “average or above” in fitness, whereas 72% of Generation X and only 69% of Millennials gave the same answer.

It is clear that being both healthy and strong are deemed more important as we reach later life and begin to realise how poor health and fitness can affect our daily lives: when asked “How important is being physically strong to you?”, 100% of Baby Boomers said it was important compared to 97% of Generation X and 92% of Millennials.

Baby Boomers also spend more time exercising, with 43% stating that they exercise most days and 29% of these committing 6-10 hours on exercise weekly. This compares to 24% of people from Generation X saying they exercise most days and only 21% of Millennials; in fact, 45% of Millennials say that they spend only 0-1 hours exercising on a weekly basis.

The favourite ways to work out across the generations is quite varied, but all age groups agree on one thing: walking is always a good way to get exercise; 46% of Millennials answered this, 42% of Generation X and a whopping 72% of Baby Boomers.

Lexi Lomas, Digital Content Manager at NRS Healthcare, discussed the feeling around fitness according to the survey: “With the busy, online lives that many younger generations lead, it’s easy to understand why they feel their fitness may be lacking in areas. Walking featured highly in all generation groups as a way to exercise, particularly for Baby Boomers where 72% agreed walking is their favourite way to work out – so Millennials may be able to take cues from the older generation and incorporate more walking into their busy lives.”

Glasgow Times:


The general perception of how healthy their diets are differs across the generations: 100% of Baby Boomers who answered the survey responded that their diet was healthy, whereas 79% of Generation X and only 72% of Millennials gave this answer.

Reponses to which diets have been tried were hugely varied across the generations. The most popular diet for Millennials was the 5:2 with 28% answering this; for Generation X, it was Slimming World (36%); for Baby Boomers, 52% answered the Atkins diet. Interestingly, Millennials have tried far more diets than any other generation, with 22 diets featuring in their answers – the vast majority of these were classed as “fad diets”, including juice cleanses, teatoxes, low carb diets, Lean in 15 and the raw food diet. In contrast, Generation X responded with 10 diets and Baby Boomers with only 5.

It is interesting to note that although 100% of Baby Boomers referred to their diet as healthy, only 72% admitted to eating breakfast every day. Breakfast was most important to Generation X, 77% of whom have it every morning, compared to only 54% of Millennials. Millennials and Generation X also take the most vitamins, with 45% of both age groups answering that they do, compared to only 28% of Baby Boomers.

Speaking of the study as a whole, Ms Lomas said: “It was a happy surprise to see that so many of the older generation feel their fitness and diet is above average and healthy."