Is Sedentary Behavior or Physical Activity Associated With Loneliness in Older Adults? Results of the European-Wide SITLESS Study

Mark Tully, Ilona Mc Mullan, Nicole Blackburn, Jason Wilson, Laura Coll-Planas, Manuela Deidda, Paolo Caserotti, Dietrich Rothenbacher

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Abstract

Research found that social relationships are central to the health and well-being of an ageing population. Evidence exploring the association between physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) with social isolation and loneliness is limited. This study uses objectively measured PA and SB (ActiGraph®) and self-reported measures of loneliness (DeJong Gierveld Loneliness Scale DGLS-6) and social engagement (Lubben Social Network Scale-LSNS-6) from a European-wide study of community-dwelling older adults from the SITLESS study. Social isolation was associated with SB where higher levels of SB were associated with an increased the level of social isolation, controlling for age, sex, living arrangements, employment status, BMI, educational background, marital status
and self-reported general health. In contrast, PA was not associated with social isolation, and neither SB or PA were statistically significant predictors of loneliness. SB may be linked to social isolation in older adults, but PA or SB are not necessarily linked to loneliness in older community-dwelling adults.
Original languageEnglish
Article number JAPA.2019-0311.R1
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
Early online date19 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • light physical activity
  • moderate–vigorous physical activity
  • social isolation
  • objective physical activity
  • loneliness

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