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The activity patterns of older adults: A cross-sectional study in six European countries

  • Joos Droogleever Fortuijn
  • Marieke van der Meer
  • Vanessa Burholt
  • Dieter Ferring
  • Sabrina Quattrini
  • Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
  • Germain Weber
  • G. Clare Wenger
Publishing year: 2006
Language: English
Pages: 353-369
Publication/Series: Population Space and Place
Volume: 12
Issue: 5
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Abstract english

This paper reports on a cross-national study of the activity patterns of 50-90 year old adults in six European countries, namely Austria, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. It analyses patterns of activity involvement and the resulting expression of satisfaction. Involvement and satisfaction levels are in turn measured against a number of personal characteristics. The paper challenges the idea of older adults as inactive and unproductive agents and stresses the productive, non-paid contribution of older adults to local economies. The analysis highlights the similarities and differences between the six countries. In general, more similarities than differences are identified. Differences are found with respect to the dimensions of activity involvement and the co-variations between activity involvement and satisfaction with personal characteristics. These differences are interpreted in terms of differences in the cultural and political-institutional context between the six countries.


  • Nursing
  • ageing
  • productive activities
  • leisure activities
  • Europe


  • ISSN: 1544-8452
Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
E-mail: ingalill [dot] rahm_hallberg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emerita

Health-promoting Complex Interventions