Objective: This article examines the association between frequency of going out of the house and health and functional status among older people.
Method: A randomly chosen cohort of ambulatory participants born in 1920 or 1921 from the Jerusalem Longitudinal Study underwent assessments for health, functional, and psychosocial variables at ages 70 and 77. Twelve-year mortality data were collected.
Results: Women went out daily less than did men. Participants going out daily at age 70 reported significantly fewer new complaints at age 77 of musculoskeletal pain, sleep problems, urinary incontinence, and decline in activities of daily living (ADLs). Logistic regression analysis indicated that not going out daily at age 70 was predictive of subsequent dependence in ADL, poor self-rated health, and urinary incontinence at age 77.
Discussion: Going out daily is beneficial among independent older people, correlating with reduced functional decline and improved health measures.