How Pickleball Became the Fastest Growing Sport Among Senior Citizens

How Pickleball Became the Fastest Growing Sport Among Senior Citizens

Pickleball, a racket sport associated with less wear and tear than other comparable sports such as tennis or badminton, has become extremely popular amongst seniors. This blog delves into the reasons for this with research and expert advice.

Low-Impact Exercise
A reason pickleball is a popular game amongst the older generations today is because of its low physical strain. Pickleball, due to a lighter impact on the body than some high-impact sports, is perfect for an older population who may suffer from arthritis or other joint issues. One study written up in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, low impact sports such as Pickleball aid in reducing pain and increasing improving function for individuals with osteoarthritis.

Cardiovascular and other benefits
Pickleball is a good cardiovascular workout that contributes to heart health and improved fitness. The moderate intensity of the sport allows for improvement in cardiovascular endurance without overtaxing the body. Recent data in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings shows that playing racket sports, including pickleball, reduces your risk of heart disease and helps you live longer.

Cognitive Benefits
Participation in regular physical exercise, particularly involving social interaction can help to better your mental health and cognitive ability. Socialization, combined with exercise of any form will help keep our minds and moods in check. Additionally, pickleball doubles as a weapon to combat brain aging. A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health showed that older adults engaging with social sports experienced improvements not just in their mental health but also an increased cognitive performance.

Accessibility and Learnability
Pickleball is a beginner-friendly sport that can be learned by anyone, irrelevant of their age or skill level. Beginners often find the smaller court size and slower pace of pickleball as compared to tennis less intimidating. The ease in learning and playing pickleball promotes physical activity among older adults without the high physical impact and skill threshold of other sports. Reinforcing this inclusivity are results from research published in The Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, which highlights how pickleball’s simple rules and entry level barrier for beginners contributes to its large appeal in many communities.

Adaptation and Flexibility
Pickleball is popular among senior citizens due to its adaptability. It is playable indoors and outdoors, offering year-round play no matter the weather. In addition, pickleball is highly adaptable to all skill and physical levels and can be played by most older adults regardless of fitness levels or mobility restrictions.

There are several reasons pickleball has become so popular among older adults. The game is easy on your body, beneficial for your health, boosts mental health & cognitive ability, and is a highly social sport. It can be played at all levels of engagement by people with widely varied abilities. As the research continues to add up in favor of pickleball, its popularity will likely continue to grow, giving the senior community a fun and valuable opportunity for staying healthy and active while socializing.


  1. Published in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity (2021). The Advantages of Pickleball for Seniors
  2. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. (2020). Paper of The Week: Racket sports (From the journal Medicine and Science in Sports)
  3. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, (2022). Intersociety)Optimal-brainaging: the impact of Social Sports on Mental Health and Cognitive Function in Older Adults
  4. Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) (2022). Overweight, Chemical Laden Male Has Mid Life Crisis **2022 Pickleball Entrant Overview** HD

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