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The Role of Social Participation and Walking in Depression among Older Adults: Results from the VoisiNuAge Study*

  • Dominic Julien (a1), Lise Gauvin (a2) (a3) (a4), Lucie Richard (a1) (a4) (a5) (a6), Yan Kestens (a2) (a3) (a4) and Hélène Payette (a7) (a8)...

Lower social participation and less frequent walking represent two factors that may contribute to depression among older adults, but previous research on the subject is inconclusive. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to quantify associations between depression and the combined effects from social participation and walking in a sample of older adults living in Canada (n = 549). Linear and logistic regression analyses were conducted, in which we entered social participation and walking as predictors of depression while controlling for individual characteristics. Results of the final models show that individuals who do not walk outside their home report more depressive symptoms or a greater likelihood of possible clinical depression (the association in our study between social participation and depression was attenuated to non-significance). The current study highlights the central role played by life habits, such as walking, in older adults’ mental health status.

Corresponding author
Correspondence and requests for offprints should be sent to / La correspondance et les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à: Dominic Julien, Ph.D. Institut de recherche en santé publique de l’Université de Montréal Pavillon 7101, Parc Avenue C.P. 6128, succ. Centre-ville Montreal, QC H3C 3J7 (
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This work was supported by a post-doctoral fellowship from the Institut de recherche en santé publique de l’Université de Montréal (IRSPUM) to DJ, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (grants # MOP-173669 and # MOP-62842), and the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (grant number 16207 to LR and 20328 to YK). Lise Gauvin holds a CIHR/CRPO (Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Centre de recherche en prevention de l’obésité) Applied Public Health Chair on Neighbourhoods, Lifestyle, and Healthy Body Weight.

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Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement
  • ISSN: 0714-9808
  • EISSN: 1710-1107
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-on-aging-la-revue-canadienne-du-vieillissement
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