Dose-response relationships between physical activity, walking and health-related quality of life in mid-age and older women

Heesch, Kristiann C, van Uffelen, Jannique, van Gellecum, Yolanda R and Brown, Wendy J (2012) Dose-response relationships between physical activity, walking and health-related quality of life in mid-age and older women. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 66 (8). pp. 670-677. ISSN 1470-2738


Background Although physical activity is associated with health-related quality of life (HRQL), the nature of the dose-response relationship remains unclear. This study examined the concurrent and prospective dose-response relationships between total physical activity (TPA) and (only) walking with HRQL in two age cohorts of women. Methods Participants were 10,698 women born in 1946-1951 and 7,646 born in 1921-1926, who completed three mailed surveys for the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. They reported weekly TPA minutes (sum of walking, moderate, and vigorous minutes). HRQL was measured with the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 36 Health Status Survey (SF-36). Linear mixed models, adjusted for socio-demographic and healthrelated variables, were used to examine associations between TPA level (none, very low, low, intermediate, sufficient, high, and very high) and SF-36 scores. For women who reported walking as their only physical activity, associations between walking and SF-36 scores were also examined. Results Curvilinear trends were observed between TPA and walking with SF-36 scores. Concurrently, HRQL scores increased significantly with increasing TPA and walking, in both cohorts, with increases less marked above sufficient activity levels. Prospectively, associations were attenuated although significant and meaningful improvements in physical functioning and vitality were observed across most TPA and walking categories above the low category. Conclusion For women in their 50s-80s without clinical depression, greater amounts of TPA are associated with better current and future HRQL, particularly physical functioning and vitality. Even if walking is their only activity, women, particularly those in their 70s-80s, have better health-related quality of life.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1136/jech-2011-200850
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Keywords middle-aged women, exercise, longitudinal, quality of life, mental health, cohort studies
Citations in Scopus 62 - View on Scopus
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