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The Booming Business of Active Wellbeing Over 50

Kaylin Goh | 12 April

By Jaquelyn Thatcher-Brady (Guest Post)

Australia is experiencing a significant demographic shift, with the aging population becoming a powerful force in shaping the nation's economy and lifestyle trends. As the over 50s demographic continues to grow, so does the business of aging health and wellness.... we refuse to go quietly damn it!

Government statistics tell us that 15% of Australians (3.7 million) were aged 65 and over in 2016. This cohort is estimated to grow to 22% of our total population (approximately 8.7 million) by 2056*; that's more skinny cappuccinos than you can poke a compression sock at. However, in a departure from the traditional stereotype of retirement, many Australians in this age group are choosing to embrace an active and vibrant lifestyle, driving the demand for travel, business ventures, active wellbeing programs, apps, and other tools to help us to discover the best balance for ourselves.

One notable trend among the over 50s in Australia is their passion for travel. Many are seizing the opportunity to explore new destinations, experience diverse cultures, and engage in adventurous and potentially risky activities (hiring a scooter in Rome seemed like a good idea at the time, they said). However, the reality of long-haul flights, carting luggage and the general physical demand on our bodies in the name of intrepid excursions, has created a shift in the mindset of over 50s to strive for better wellbeing. The concept of retirement villages and minibus rides to regional tea houses has been replaced by the desire to enjoy the second half of our lives with a sense of bravery and discovery. Retirement no longer implies a sedentary lifestyle. Instead, the over 50s are opting for extended holidays, team sport, wellness retreats, and even volunteer programs abroad. Striving for personal enrichment particularly post-covid, has created an extremely motivated age demographic.


For many other Aussies my age, the conventional idea of retirement as a time to step back from work and take it a bit easier has changed. Our population is retiring later as the idea of conventional work has evolved particularly since the end of the pandemic.  Over the age of 50, we seek more financial freedom to enjoy our pursuits so an increasing number of Australians like me who are over 50, journey into entrepreneurship. Whether it's starting a small business, consulting, or investing in innovative ventures, the over 50s are proving that age is an asset. According to Australian Government data the average age of small business owners is 50, as compared to 45 back in 2006*.

Australia has seen a surge in senior entrepreneurs who leverage their wealth of experience, skills, and networks to establish thriving businesses. The government and various organisations are recognising the importance of this trend, offering support programs and resources to encourage entrepreneurship among the over 50s.

If you need a nap just thinking about all this, you're not the only one. Living our best lives requires an abundance of energy it seems. There is no doubt that the days of springing out of bed are harder to come by. The creaks and moans as our bodies unfurl from a sweat-induced sleep (particularly for women) is a reality we must manage. But it should not be a barrier. Many are turning to active wellbeing programs to achieve this goal. From fitness classes, organised team sport and outdoor activities to mindfulness retreats, the market for health and wellness services tailored to mature Australians is rapidly expanding.


It is at this point that I add my own cautionary tale of an unwillingness to accept that 53 is not a good age to return to netball. When my 22-year-old daughter needed a 'body on the court' to fill-in for her Uni team, my annoying, ego-driven 27-year-old brain (the same one that thinks I can still drink and dance till 5am) enthusiastically accepted. I don't think she or I expected that I would literally be a body on the court after blowing my ACL, resulting in a painful reconstruction and 12 months of physio that allowed me to gratefully return to running, rowing and yoga again. I have since had to reflect on my poor decisions and now I have a far more reasonable expectation of my body. The pleated skirts and bloomers have been hung up for good.

The acknowledgement of not only physical health but also mental and emotional wellbeing has led to an increase in the development of age-friendly programs and social groups aimed at over 50s. I personally know how handy it is to use my daily meditation session as a way of demarcating between work and family time, (I also conveniently ignore questions about dinner and lost cricket gear). All they know is mamma is calmer when she appears from the bedroom after being in a meditative state.

The business of aging health and wellness in Australia is not just a passing trend but a long-term industry that will continue to evolve. The over 50s demographic is expected to exert considerable influence on various sectors, including business, travel, fashion, health, and wellness services.

As businesses adapt to meet the changing needs and preferences of this demographic, there will be new opportunities for innovation and growth. The desire for over 50s to learn and educate themselves means that organisations have a demographic who are more financially stable, technologically savvy, and willing to embrace new experiences. This is particularly so for women.

New ways to combat the symptoms of menopause including creams, lotions, vitamins, nutrition, supplements, and physical exercise has changed how women view themselves at this time in their lives. While menopause was something that previously held women back by the negative connotation to the ‘change of life’; women are now more vocal about their experiences, sharing ideas, products, and outlets for managing this transition. We are managing menopause to better work around our lives rather than having our lives work around menopause.

The twilight of our lives is going through an extended daylight savings. Over 50s in Australia are finding healthier ways to manage their midlife and embracing products and services that prioritise holistic wellbeing. The future holds promising prospects for those activities, markets and industries catering to their needs which will be exciting to see, sadly from my experience, netball is not one of them.


Jaquelyn Thatcher-Brady is the owner of be. Health Collagen. Her lifelong love for health and fitness takes centre stage bringing together all her experience in business, the media, presenting, cooking and exercise to inspire others, particularly more mature people, to live better. Collagen is an integral ingredient in how we can look and feel, so holistic health and wellbeing is at the core of what be. Health strives for. Jaquelyn’s  Jaq’s Snaqs blog  is a sought out resource for teaching easy, no fuss cooking using good quality seasonal produce and ingredients, that layer together with the goodness of collagen to nourish the body and have you feeling your best.

Jaquelyn believes in creating compassion for yourself and empowerment to achieve premium health for longer wellbeing.

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