Loneliness, Social Isolation and Objectively-Measured Physical Activity in Rurally-Living Older Adults

Jolanthe De Koning, Afroditi Stathi, Suzanne Richards

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This cross-sectional, observational study examined whether objectively-measured physical activity (PA) and specific activities are associated with loneliness and social isolation (SI) in rural-living older adults.
One-hundred-and-twelve participants (mean age=72.8 [SD=6.6], 51.8% female) from 23 villages in Wiltshire, England, completed questionnaires, seven-day accelerometry and activity diaries. Regression analysis was used to: 1) test associations between objectively-measured light (LPA), moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA) and total PA (TPA), loneliness and SI from family, neighbours or friends; 2) explore these associations using specific activities.
Daily mean LPA, MVPA and TPA were not associated with loneliness or SI. Volunteering, accompanying others and sports/exercise were associated with lower SI from neighbours (OR=0.23, 95% CI:0.06-0.91), family (OR=0.39, 95% CI:0.22-0.68) and friends (OR=0.56, 95% CI:0.33-0.97), respectively.
There were no associations between loneliness, SI and objectively-measured PA. The contribution of PA to loneliness and SI need to be further investigated with larger and diverse samples of rural-living older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
Publication statusAcceptance date - 2019


  • ageing
  • loneliness
  • social isolation
  • physical activity
  • social well-being
  • accelerometry
  • rural
  • volunteering


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