Sport Management Career Spotlight: Working with Aging Populations

William Woods Undergraduate

William Woods graduates with a bachelor’s in sports management often work in areas that benefit the young — whether in youth sports organizations, schools, or professional sports. But as Baby Boomers age, sports management professionals must question how sports and general fitness impacts older adults as well.

In fact, this aging population is reportedly one of the main contributors to rises in many sport management professions — from training and rehabilitation to growing businesses geared towards older individuals. About 22 percent of the U.S. population will be over the age of 65 by 2030, and the fastest growing cohort within this subgroup will be people over 75.

According to one study, “In general, older people today are healthier, more diverse, and better educated than previous generations, and many are pursuing active lives… Many older people are also engaging in continuing education, recreational activities (e.g., competitive sports), and travel.”

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, the loss of strength and stamina as adults age is caused in part by reduced physical activity. Physical activity and quality gains in fitness are also directly related to improved quality of life, autonomy, and independence, enabling older individuals to engage in daily living and work activities.

This growing desire in aging populations to stay healthier and pursue more active lives presents great opportunity for sport management professionals to make rewarding careers. For example, sports management graduates can work in the management team of an organization like Tivity Health, parent company of Silver Sneakers, a fitness-oriented platform that caters to aging populations.

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