Longitudinal Association Between Objectively Measured Walking and Depressive Symptoms Among Estonian Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Although an inverse correlation between physical activity and depressive symptoms among older adults has been found in research, this relation has seldom been examined prospectively. Accordingly, the current study examined the reciprocal relations between physical activity and depressive symptoms in Estonian older adults over a 2-year period. A three-wave longitudinal model was tested using cross-lagged analysis for 195 individuals aged over 70 years (mean = 72.1, SD = 2.1; 145 females). Results indicated that a cross-lagged model in which depressive symptoms predicted walking at subsequent time points (higher depressive symptoms were related to fewer walking steps), and walking predicted depressive symptoms at subsequent time points (higher walking steps were related to lower depressive symptoms) was most parsimonious and provided acceptable model fit. These results suggest that reduced physical activity may be a long-term consequence of depressive symptoms in older adults.

Raudsepp and Riso are with the Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.

Address author correspondence to Lennart Raudsepp at lennart.raudsepp@ut.ee.
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