Physical Impairments Disrupt the Association Between Physical Activity and Loneliness: A Longitudinal Study

J.M. Boekhout*, Brenda Berendsen, D. Peels, C. Bolman, L. Lechner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

This study explores the association between physical activity (PA), loneliness, and the presence of physical chronic impairments among single older adults. A longitudinal study (N= 575; mean age 76 +/- 8 years) was conducted. The association between self-reported weekly minutes of moderate to vigorous PA, loneliness, and presence of physical impairments was assessed with multilevel analyses at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. Improvements in moderate to vigorous PA were associated with decreases in loneliness (B = -0.09, SE= 0.04. p= .020); this association became nonsignificant when including the presence of physical impairments in the analyses (p = .824), which in itself was positively associated with loneliness (B = 0.51, SE = 0.10, p <.001). Findings indicate that physical impairments have a larger influence on loneliness than the level of PA. Interventions targeting PA and loneliness should tailor specifically to physical impairments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-796
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • chronic disease
  • mobility limitations
  • older adults
  • SOCIAL-ISOLATION
  • OLDER PERSONS
  • HEALTH
  • ADULTS
  • INTERVENTIONS
  • CONSEQUENCES
  • GUIDELINES
  • SUPPORT
  • OBESITY
  • PEOPLE

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