, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 99-103

Physical activity and quality of life in older adults: Influence of health status and self-efficacy

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Background: Physical activity has been positively linked to quality of life (QOL) in older adults. Measures of health status and global well-being represent common methods of assessing QOL outcomes, yet little has been done to determine the nature of the relationship of these outcomes with physical activity.Purpose: We examined the roles played by physical activity, health status, and self-efficacy in global QOL (satisfaction with life) in a sample of older Black and White women.Method: Participants (N = 249, M age = 68.12 years) completed multiple indicators of physical activity, self-efficacy, health status, and QOL at baseline of a 24-month prospective trial. Structural equation modeling examined the fit of 3 models of the physical activity and QOL relationship.Results: Analyses indicated that relationships between physical activity and QOL, self-efficacy and QOL were all indirect. Specifically, physical activity influenced self-efficacy and QOL through physical and mental health status, which in turn influenced global QOL.Conclusions: Our findings support a social cognitives model of physical activity’s relationship with QOL. Subsequent tests of hypothesized relationships across time are recommended.

Funding for this study was provided by the National Institute on Aging (Grant AG 20118). We extend our sincere appreciation to April Bell for all of her efforts on this project.