Understanding pickleball as a new leisure pursuit among older adults

Jungsu Ryu, Hyunmin Yang, Amy Chan Hyung Kim, Kyung Min Kim, Jinmoo Heo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


For older adults, participating in leisure activities has psychosocial benefits, increases social interactions, and promotes well-being. Among various leisure activities, pickleball is an activity that fosters positive social interaction and health benefits in older adults. Pickleball is regarded as one of the fastest growing sports in the USA, and it is reported to be popular among people of all ages, especially among older adults. The purpose of this study was to gather demographic details of older pickleball participants and elucidate the psychosocial benefits of playing the sport, such as life satisfaction, optimism, and social integration. To this end, we gathered information from 153 older adults who competed in pickleball tournaments. Multivariate analysis of variance and Hotelling’s T2 test were used to compare the differences that emerged in experiential factors such as life satisfaction, optimism, and social integration among the different demographic characteristics. The results showed that life satisfaction was significantly different among the following three age groups: 50–59 years, 60–69 years, and ≥70 years. Results of Hotelling’s T2 test showed a significant difference in social integration between male and female participants. The test also revealed a significant difference in terms of life satisfaction between retired and employed participants. The results suggest that playing pickleball can be an enriching leisure activity for retirees and may help them cope with the transition that retirement typically entails.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-138
Number of pages11
JournalEducational Gerontology
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 4

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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