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Physical activity and quality of life in older adults in Spain

Physical activity and quality of life in older adults in Spain

Medicina Clinica 123(16): 606-610

This study examined the relationship between leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) and health-related quality of life (HRQL) in the older adult population of Spain. Household cross-sectional survey on 3,066 subjects representatives of the non-institutionalized Spanish population aged 60 years and over. Data on LTPA was obtained with a structured questionnaire and HRQL was measured with the SF-36 instrument. Analyses were done through linear regression, where the dependent variable was each of the eight scales of the SF-36 and the main independent variable was LTPA. Analyses were adjusted for sociodemographic and social network variables, health habits, health services use, and chronic diseases. A total of 42.7% subjects had a sedentary activity, 54.2% light LTPA and 3% moderate/intense LTPA. As compared with sedentary activity, light LTPA was associated with a higher score in all SF-36 scales, except for the physical role and emotional role, among men and women. For subjects with light LTPA the increase in score was over 3 points in most SF-scales, which is usually considered as a clinically relevant change in HRQL. Results did not vary materially by age, level of education, obesity or chronic disease. The higher LTPA, the better HRQL (p for linear trend < 0.05 in most scales of the SF-36 questionnaire). Light LTPA is associated with better HRQL than sedentary activity. Because this association did not change with age, level of education, obesity or chronic disease, it is suggested that most older adults could improve their HRQL with, at least, a light LTPA.

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Accession: 049919818

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PMID: 15546517

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