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{Article source: Cedars Sinai}

“Older adults who joined group exercise classes experienced decreased loneliness and social isolation, according to a new Cedars-Sinai study conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic. The classes have continued virtually since March, and early results suggest the online versions are also effective.

Seniors face increased risk for developing serious health issues or even death if they lack social connections or feel alone. Loneliness is connected to higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide. Experts say social isolation can have the same impact on an older person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Both loneliness and social isolation are widespread issues in the U.S., where more than a third of adults 45 and older feel lonely and nearly a quarter of those 65 and older are socially isolated, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. But few studies have examined the most effective ways to improve social connectedness among seniors.”

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