Time Allocated to Healthy Behaviors among Retirement-Age American Men and Women

Sarah Flood, University of Minnesota
Phyllis Moen, University of Minnesota

Understanding patterns of daily life among contemporary retirement-age Americans ages 60 to 75 is of heightened importance as growing numbers of boomers and those in the cohort preceding them move through this life stage. In this paper, we focus on time spent in healthy behaviors—key risk factors for health and well-being—which are even more important because they are potentially modifiable. We take a gendered life course approach considering gender as a primary organizing factor in daily life as well as the structuring effects of work and the potential rolelessness of non-work for older Americans. We use OLS regression to analyze daily time allocations to healthy and unhealthy behavior (sleep, exercise, meal preparation, leisure, and paid work) among retirement-age men and women using the American Time Use Survey (2006-2008). Along with employment status and gender, we consider the effects of health status and day of the week on time patterns.

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Presented in Session 18: Social Capital, Aging, and Well-Being