The association between physical activity and social isolation in community-dwelling older adults Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Social isolation is an increasing concern in older community-dwelling adults. There is growing need to determine effective interventions addressing social isolation. This study aimed to determine whether a relationship exists between physical activity (recreational and/or household-based) and social isolation. An examination was conducted for whether group- or home-based falls prevention exercise was associated with social isolation.Cross-sectional analysis of telephone survey data was used to investigate relationships between physical activity, health, age, gender, living arrangements, ethnicity and participation in group- or home-based falls prevention exercise on social isolation. Univariable and multivariable ordered logistic regression analyses were conducted.Factors found to be significantly associated with reduced social isolation in multivariable analysis included living with a partner/spouse, reporting better general health, higher levels of household-based physical activity (OR = 1.03, CI = 1.01-1.05) and feeling less downhearted/depressed. Being more socially isolated was associated with symptoms of depression and a diagnosis of congestive heart failure (pseudo R2 = 0.104).Findings suggest that household-based physical activity is related to social isolation in community-dwelling older adults. Further research is required to determine the nature of this relationship and to investigate the impact of group physical activity interventions on social isolation.

authors

  • Robins, LM
  • Hill, KD
  • Finch, CF
  • Clemson, L
  • Haines, T

publication date

  • 2018