MySeniorCenter Fun Facts

Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

Happy New Year and welcome to the 11th Annual MySeniorCenter BIG LIST version of Fun Facts. To kick off the new year, we usually show the top 10 (ish) most popular programs within various categories. This year, we'll show the programs that had the most growth in popularity (slightly different spin) in several categories. We'll also look at a few of the programs that have declined in popularity. That will give us a chance to look at what's in and what's out across the 1100+ Centers that use MySeniorCenter.

As a teaser, 2019 seemed to be about downward-facing dog, paddle games, singing in front of other people, poker, teriyaki and meals-to-go.

BUT, let's have a look at all the details below.

Welcome to...Fun Facts - the BIG LIST edition


What the Heck is Pickleball?

In the Fitness and Exercise categories, Yoga was the big winner. It's certainly not a new program, but of the top 25 fastest growing programs across the Network in 2019, 6 were some form of yoga. Flexibility and mindfulness at any age are good ideas and they only increase in importance as we get older.

Pickleball continued its expansion across North America and is now the most popular competitive sport at Centers. Many Centers have full-blown leagues on local or attached courts or even transform their dining rooms into courts in the absence of a large gym. Don't let the absence of a perfect space keep you from giving it a try!

Ping Pong (or table tennis) grew over 70% in 2019. Roughly 25% of all Centers now have at least one table, which is a huge increase from when we first started looking at the data in 2010.

Other activities with greater than 50% growth in 2019 were cornhole and tai chi. Strength training classes saw the largest decline in attendance across the Network (individual Center participation may vary).

Muscles are out, flexibility and paddle sports are in.

You've Got a Friend in Me

Social events continued to be a strong driver of attendance at Centers. The programs with the most growth were focused on new member socials, karaoke, comedy shows and special event meals. The largest drops in popularity were suffered mostly by different bridge groups. Again, that may differ at your Center, but this is averaged across the entire Network.

To get the full effect, click 'download pictures'

Meeting new people and not taking ourselves too seriously is "way" in.

I'm in a store and I'm singing

Several types of dancing (couples, line, ballroom, clog, tap and Irish step) grew over 50% in 2019. Singing groups grew at nearly 50%. Drum classes were up 40%!

Belly dancing, guitar playing and ballet all saw significant drops in popularity.

Bare midriffs and guitars are out, dancing and drums are in.

I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)

Crafting, walking, hiking, brain games, gardening and bingo all had nearly 100% growth in 2019. Worth noting is that even though there was a big drop in bridge playing (see You've Got a Friend in Me), 75% more people played poker in 2019 than in 2018. No word on the stakes.

Pencil drawing and puzzles had significant drops in attendance.

Puzzles are out, hiking and poker are in.

I Wish Lunch Could Last Forever

Congregate meals saw some decline in 2019, but were still the most popular lunch option. As we pointed out in the State of the Network report, virtually all of the drop-off came from younger seniors. For that group, there were large increases in café, coffee bar and salad bar options. Lunch-to-go and takeout meals grew over 30% in 2019.

The most popular meal of the year was teriyaki chicken! A close second was soup & sandwich followed by ziti with broccoli in third. No vegetarian or vegan meals made the top 200 list but it wouldn't be surprising to see that happen during 2020. Roast beef dinner, lasagna and turkey with gravy saw the largest drops.

Beef is out, chicken, sandwiches and salads are in.


Congratulations on another year of offering great services to your community.

It's people like you that make this world a better place!

Don't forget - if you'd like to nominate your logo for the Look At Me contest, please send us a note and include a copy of the logo. We'll have another vote in the February 2020 issue of Fun Facts. This is your last chance this year to be included! You can see last year's results here.