Journal Article Relationship between Social Participation, Physical Activity and Psychological Distress in Apparently Healthy Elderly People: A Pilot Study

Owari, Yutaka  ,  Miyatake, Nobuyuki  ,  Kataoka, Hiroaki

72 ( 1 )  , pp.31 - 37 , 2018-02 , Okayama University Medical School
Few studies examined the relationship between social participation, physical activity and psychological distress in elderly people. Here we examined these relationships in apparently healthy elderly people. After exclusion of subjects who dropped out or did not meet enrollment criteria, the data of 86 subjects (apparently healthy elderly embers at a college health club; 25 males, 61 females) from July 20 to September 10, 2016 were used. We evaluated each subject’s psychological distress using the K6 questionnaire, social participation by a self-completed questionnaire, and physical activity level by a triaxial accelerometer (7 consecutive days). The K6 scores were significantly correlated with social participation in the total series and the women. The K6 scores of the subjects who had engaged in social participation (1.847±2.231) were significantly lower (better) than those of the subjects who had not (6.714±5.014). Both exercise limitation and social participation were significant predictors of the K6 scores. Our findings indicate that psychological distress in apparently healthy elderly people is not associated with physical activity, but is associated with social participation. Our results demonstrate that in healthy elderly people, participating in a social activity can help improve psychological distress.

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