Social group memberships, physical activity, and physical health following retirement: A six-year follow-up from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

Mark Stevens*, Tegan Cruwys, Catherine Haslam, Valerie Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objectives: To investigate whether belonging to more social groups supports people to be physically active following retirement and confers physical health benefits as a result. Design: A longitudinal design was used, drawing on data spanning an eight-year period from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Methods: In a population sample of retirees (N = 243), mediation models were used to examine relationships between number of post-retirement group memberships, subsequent post-retirement physical activity, and subsequent physical health. Results: Belonging to a greater number of social groups predicted greater physical activity following retirement. More group memberships also consistently predicted both subjective and objective indicators of greater physical health via greater physical activity. Conclusions: Supporting people to maintain – and ideally increase – their group memberships in retirement may have benefits for their engagement in physical activity and long-term physical health.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)505-524
    Number of pages20
    JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
    Volume26
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2021

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