Media-Based Leisure and Wellbeing: A Study of Older Internet Users

Vera Gallistl, Galit Nimrod

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

31 Citations (Scopus)


Studies exploring digital technology in the context of leisure for older people tend to neglect their parallel use of traditional media. By simultaneous examination of both online and offline recreational media use, the present study explores media-based leisure repertoires and wellbeing among older Internet users. Data were collected via a survey of 10,527 Internet users aged 60 and up from seven countries (Austria, Canada, Denmark, Israel, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain). Analysis examined participants’ media use and differences among people with disparate use patterns. The study identified four groups of Internet users according to the media-based leisure activities they engaged in: innovative traditionalists, entertainment seekers, selective content consumers, and eclectic media users. The groups differed in their activity repertoires, background characteristics, and leisure preferences. Being an eclectic media user (i.e., relatively less selective) was significantly associated with lower life satisfaction. Results indicate an advantage to selectivity in media use for leisure and confirm that participation in certain activities may compensate somewhat for distressing conditions in old age. They also suggest diminished boundaries between offline and online leisure among older Internet users and call for further development of the functional approach to Internet use in later life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-265
Number of pages15
JournalLeisure Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 03 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


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