Promoting Older Adults’ Physical Activity and Social Well-Being during COVID-19

Julie S. Son, Galit Nimrod, Stephanie T. West, Megan C. Janke, Toni Liechty, Jill J. Naar

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Staying healthy while following social distancing protocols is of great importance to older adults due to increased risk of serious complications from COVID-19. Mild to moderate physical activity improves immune system responses to viral respiratory infections. Additionally, social engagement has cumulative health protective benefits across the lifespan. At present, active and social recreation opportunities have been drastically reduced or disbanded due to group size limitations, stay-at-home orders, and reductions in services and facilities. As a result, community dwelling older adults are homebound and need alternative exercise and social opportunities to maintain their health during this time. Leisure professionals can promote physical activity and social well-being among older adults by increasing home-based opportunities, including offering additional online leisure services, opportunities for volunteerism, and social interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-294
Number of pages8
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • older adults
  • online
  • physical activity
  • recreation
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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