Social Distancing Spikes Loneliness Among Older People

November 13, 2020 13:05:58

According to a new study by researchers from the University of Stirling, the social distancing measures introduced to help contain the coronavirus infection has affected the well-being of Scotland’s older population, increasing their feelings of loneliness.

The study discovered a connection between the worsening health and well-being of individuals over 60 years and the growth in loneliness. The research determined that increased loneliness was linked to a decrease in well-being, lower social support and a small social network.

The research was launched earlier in May under the Scottish government’s rapid research in coronavirus program. A professor of the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, Anna Whittaker, led the study. She hopes that study findings will help in decision-making with regard to the virus and support strategies that are geared towards recovery after the pandemic.

Whittaker stated that prior studies had shown the negative effects of loneliness and social isolation. This, she said, was an important issue for older people who may not have had lots of social contact or the chance to engage with others. Whittaker added that the social-distancing guidelines that were introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic affect vulnerable groups, such as the older people, and limit engagement in social activity.

The study surveyed 1,429 older individuals and assessed how social-distancing measures implemented during the pandemic had affected well-being, loneliness and social activity. A majority of the participants — 56% — reported that the measures made them experience less frequent social contact with fewer people, resulting in more loneliness.

The researchers discovered that better social support and a bigger social network seemed to protect against declines in well-being and health as well as an increase in loneliness. This emphasizes the importance of addressing social contact and loneliness in older individuals, especially during situations where the isolation risk is high, such as a pandemic.

Among the total number of study participants, 84% were 60 years and above and had a social network of five people on average. The participants also socialized for five days each week, for roughly six and a half hours, on average.

In addition to this, the researchers assessed the effect the measures had on physical activity. An estimated 35% of participants continued to meet their physical activity guidelines during the lockdown period with walking being the largest contributor to physical activity. Some 40% reported walking less than compared to pre-lockdown, with a similar proportion claiming that they engaged less in moderate physical activity. The researchers found that people who reported lower physical activity had poorer well-being.

CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. NASDAQ: (CNSP) is an interesting biotech company you should watch. The company’s sole focus is to develop novel approaches in treating primary as well as metastatic forms of cancer that affect the central nervous system, and the brain.

About BioMedWire

BioMedWire (BMW) is an information service that provides (1) access to our news aggregation and syndication servers, (2) BioMedNewsBreaks that summarize corporate news and information, (3) enhanced press release services, (4) social media distribution and optimization services, and (5) a full array of corporate communication solutions. As a multifaceted financial news and content distribution company with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, BMW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. BMW has an ever-growing distribution network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets across the country. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, BMW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. BMW is where news, content and information converge.

To receive SMS text alerts from BioMedWire, text “STOCKS” to 77948 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)

For more information please visit

Please see full terms of use and disclaimers on the BioMedWire website applicable to all content provided by BMW, wherever published or re-published:

BioMedWire (BMW)
San Francisco, California
415.949.5050 Office

BioMedWire is part of the InvestorBrandNetwork.