As Korea is expected to become a super-aged society, where more than 20% of the total population is aged 65 or older in 2025, there is particularly growing interest in healthy living for the senior generation.
Samsung Research (SR), Samsung’s advanced R&D hub, reviewed the health management status of the senior generation in Korea (aged 65 or older) based on the trends among “Samsung Health” users on the occasion of Senior Citizens Month in October. “Samsung Health” is a comprehensive health solution used monthly by 64 million people worldwide that provides health management functions in various areas such as sleep, fitness, and health index monitoring.
Quality sleep is essential for a healthy life. As the saying goes: “Sleep is the best medicine.” A comparison and analysis of sleep data from various countries using Samsung Health revealed that older people in Korea were ranked lowest in terms of sleep time and quality.
The average daily sleep time of users in 17 countries measured through Samsung Health was approximately 423 minutes (approximately 7 hours and 3 minutes), and that of the senior generation in Korea was 390 minutes (approximately 6 hours and 30 minutes), 33 minutes less.
This is the shortest sleep time among the countries surveyed after India (386 minutes). Compared to Finland, where the senior generation has the longest sleep time (459 minutes), the senior generation in Korea sleeps less by more than an hour.
In particular, the ”sleep score” of the sleep quality measured and quantified by Samsung Health’s algorithm was 63.4 points, which was the lowest among the 17 countries. Finland, the country with the highest sleep score for the senior generation, scored 66.3 points.
▲ Average daily sleep time and sleep score comparison graph surveyed targeting elderly users of Samsung Health in 17 countries
An age-specific analysis of sleep service users in Korea also showed that the quality of sleep of the senior generation was relatively poor. Compared to other age groups, users aged 65 and over had the longest average daily sleep time but showed the lowest sleep score. As sleep is an important activity closely related to physical and mental recovery, it follows that continuous efforts and societal concern are needed to improve the quality of sleep of the senior generation.
▲ Average daily sleep time and sleep score comparison grap by age surveyed targeting Samsung Health users in Korea
Unlike sleep time, for which Korea ranked the lowest in comparison by country, the average daily walking time of the senior generation in Korea was the longest among the 17 countries.
The average walking time of the senior generation in 17 countries, confirmed by the trends of Samsung Health’s walking record service users, was approximately 43.8 minutes, and the average daily walking time of the senior generation in Korea was 60.7 minutes, far above the average. It is almost twice as long as in Brazil (33.2 minutes), with the shortest walking time.
The trends by age in Korea are also interesting. When comparing by age, targeting walking record service users in Korea, the senior generation showed the longest walking time. It was found that the average daily walking time (60.7 minutes) of the senior generation was similar to the average daily walking time (60.4 minutes) of active people in their 20s (aged 20–29).
▲Average daily walking time surveyed targeting Samsung Health’s elderly users in 17 countries and walking time by age surveyed targeting Samsung Health users in Korea
It has been confirmed that exercise records have increased recently because of growing interest in health. As a result of analyzing the exercise data of users aged 65 and older, the proportion of users who walk for 30 minutes or more a day has increased by 1.5%, from 2.3% in 2018 to 3.8% in 2022.
▲Changes in walking and exercise records of the senior generation in 2022 compared to 2018 surveyed targeting Samsung health users in Korea
Voluntary health management by the senior generation is most important for a healthy elderly life. Samsung Electronics is helping the senior generation clearly understand and manage their health conditions through the Galaxy Watch series, which supports customized health programs, such as body composition measurement, sleep, and stress management, along with Samsung Health. Samsung Electronics hopes that its efforts and everyone’s interest will lead to better health in the late stages of life.
1 Comparison of 17 countries: the United States, Korea, Turkey, Mexico, Israel, Brazil, Japan, Australia, Canada, Poland, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Finland, Sweden, Indonesia, and Spain