Neighbourhood deprivation and physical activity in UK older adults

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The benefits of regular physical activity for older adults are now well-established but this group remain the least active sector of the population. In this paper, the association between levels of neighbourhood deprivation and physical activity was assessed. A sample of 125 males with a mean age of 77.5 (±5.6) years, and 115 females with a mean age of age 78.6 (±8.6) underwent 7-day accelerometry, a physical performance battery, and completed a daily journeys log. Univariate associations between physical activity parameters and level of deprivation of neighbourhood were extinguished in regression models controlling for age, gender, and level of educational attainment. Age, gender, educational attainment, body mass index, physical function, and frequency of journeys from the home explained between 50% and 54% of variance in activity parameters. These results suggest the importance of strategies to help older adults maintain physical function, healthy weight, and remain active in their communities.

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