Exercise Classes Reduce Elderly Loneliness
Older adults who join group exercise classes experience decreased loneliness and social isolation, a new Cedars-Sinai study, published in the ‘American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry’. Loneliness is connected to higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide. Experts say social isolation can have the same impact on an older person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Study participants selected one of four courses, which would improve other aspects of health: Arthritis Exercise, Enhanced Fitness, Tai Chi for Arthritis, and Chronic Disease Self-Management. The three exercise classes proved the most popular. At the end of six months, researchers found a 6.9% decrease in loneliness and a 3.3% improvement in social connectedness among the seniors. Those who had virtual workouts didn’t find any significant change in their loneliness or social isolation.