Social relationships are central to the health and well-being of older adults. Evidence exploring the association of physical activity (PA) with social isolation and loneliness is limited. This study uses a path analysis to investigate the longitudinal association between loneliness and social isolation with PA using the Irish Longitudinal study of Ageing (TILDA). Higher levels of social isolation measured using the Berkman-Syme Social Network Index (SNI) were directly and indirectly associated with lower levels of walking, moderate PA (MPA) and vigorous PA (VPA) over six years. Additionally, higher levels of walking were associated with lower levels of loneliness measured using a modified version of the University of California Los Angeles loneliness scale (UCLA) over a 3-year period. Future interventions should target individuals who are more socially isolated and explore the effects of different types of PA on loneliness over time.
- Moderate activity
- Vigorous activity