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On October 2, 2018, the Institute for Social Policy held a scientific seminar on the topic “Healthy lifestyle in old age: barriers and opportunities”

The seminar moderated by Oksana Sinyavskaya, deputy director of the Institute, heard a presentation by Dr. Elena Selezneva, Senior Research Fellow of the Center for Comprehensive Social Policy Studies.

Good health is a prerequisite for active longevity. Process of ageing, life expectancy and well-being in old age are determined not only by access to medical services but also by health behavior. As compared with the peers in Europe, Russian elderly pay less attention to their health. The research is aimed of identifying barriers that hamper using health practices by elderly population in Russia. The cluster analysis conducted on the RLMS-HSE data has shown that more than half of older Russians (52.4%) adhere to a lifestyle characterized by rejection of both, destructive and preventive behavior. The other 47.6% are almost equally divided between these who actively strengthen their health, and those with bad habits. The regression analysis has indicated that income is the most important predictor of the healthy lifestyle, but its influence is contradictory. The barriers to adopting a healthy lifestyle also include:

·        family composition (elderly living with relatives care less about their health),

·        low level of education and lack of information,

·        prevention as an unpopular strategy,

·        underdeveloped health infrastructure.