10. tbl. 106. árg. 2020

Physical activity and depression among older community-dwelling adults in urban and rural areas: Population based study

Dagleg hreyfing og þunglyndiseinkenni eldra fólks í dreifbýli og þéttbýli á Norðurlandi: Lýðgrunduð rannsókn

Birgitta R. Smáradóttir1

Introduction: The aim was to explore physical activity (PA) in different daily contexts, among older adults in Northern Iceland; and by urban-rural living, age-group and sex. Moreover, to study the association between PA and depression.

Material and methods: The study was cross-sectional, population based and data was collected in 2017-‘18 in Northern Iceland. The 175 community-dwelling participants (participation rate 59.7%) were 65-92 years old, 43% were women, and 40% lived in rural areas. The Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) was used to obtain a total PA score and three subs-scores reflecting PA associated with leisure-time, household and work. The Geriatric Depression Scale was used to detect depressive symptoms.

Results: Total PA was the same for urban and rural people, men were more active than women, and the 65-74 years age-group was more active than the 75-92 years age-group. People in rural areas were more likely to do work-related PA than people in urban areas, as was the 65-74 years age-group compared to the 75-92 years age-group. Men were more PA during household than women. Higher total PA and the sub-scores of PASE had significant association with fewer depressive symptoms. PA in leisure-time was the only PASE sub-score with a significant and independent association with fewer depressive symptoms.

Conclusion: The results improve the knowledge on PA among older community-dwelling adults, and its relationship with depressive symptoms. Although PA in different contexts has various health benefits, an emphasis on leisure-time PA may have the most beneficial effect on mental health.


Correspondence: Sólveig Á. Árnadóttir, saa@hi.is

Key words: Physical activity, depression, ageing, urban, rural.

1Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Sciences, University of Iceland, 2School of Health Sciences, University of Akureyri, Akureyri, Iceland, 3School of Health Sciences, University of Akureyri, Akureyri, Iceland; Akureyri Hospital, Akureyri, Iceland, 4Research Centre of Movement Science, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Iceland.

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