Online Leisure and Wellbeing in Later Life

  • Vera GallistlEmail author
  • Galit Nimrod
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


Research has shown that Internet use contributes to subjective wellbeing (SWB) in later life, emphasizing the significance of online leisure. Seeking new directions in human-computer interaction (HCI) research among older people, this chapter suggests three pathways towards a better understanding of the roles online leisure plays in older adults’ SWB: Simultaneous exploration of various online leisure activities, concurrent examination of both online and offline leisure activities; and differentiation among discrete subsegments of older Internet users. To demonstrate the effectiveness of these three paths, we examine data collected in an online survey of media use among 814 Israeli Internet users aged 60 years and over. Results indicate that there are six factors of media-based leisure activities, two of which associate positively with users’ life satisfaction (online updates and offline content) and one negatively (offline radio). Analysis also identifies three groups of Internet users, based on the activities they engage in: Onliners, Offliners and Lighter Users. Despite differences in leisure involvement, these groups report similar life satisfaction. The groups’ background characteristics reflect a balancing mechanism wherein participation in certain online and offline activities compensates for distressing conditions to some extent.



This work was supported by Ageing + Communication + Technologies (ACT), a research project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and housed at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, as well as by a Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) grant to the first author from COST Action CA15122 “Reducing Old-Age Social Exclusion: Collaborations in Research and Policy (ROSEnet).”


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Ben-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael

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