Social Predictors of Physical Activity in Later Life: The Contribution of Social-Network Type

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Howard Litwin
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The purpose of this study was to examine the association of social-network type and physical activity in an elderly population. The analysis was based on secondary analysis of a sample of Israeli retirees (N = 1,493). Five network types were considered: diverse, friends, neighbors, family, and restricted networks. Sociodemographic and health variables were addressed as control variables. A dichotomous physical activity measure was regressed in a hierarchical logistic procedure on the control and network-type variables. The multivariate results showed that respondents in diverse networks had the highest likelihood of all the network types for engaging in physical activity, and those in exclusively family or restricted networks had the lowest. The findings confirm that physically active older adults are also more socially connected.

The author is with the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work, The Hebrew University, 91905-IL, Jerusalem, Israel.

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