Journal of Public Health

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 351–358

Leisure time sports activity and all-cause mortality in West Germany (1984–1998)

Original Article



Current data and available studies suggest that regular physical activity decreases overall mortality. In Germany corresponding findings are scarce. The aim of this data analysis was to clarify this issue for a German sample in men and women.


A total of 3,742 males and 3,445 females aged 30–69, who participated in a baseline questionnaire in 1984–1986, were followed-up to the year 1998.


During the follow-up period, 300 women and 643 men died. The multivariate rate ratios (RR) for accumulated hours of leisure time sports activities (LTSA) per week and with an LTSA-index based on METs per week with the reference of sedentary lifestyle, showed a clearly protective impact in a dose-response relationship (p for trend <0.05). Similar trends were observed in women and men. More than 2 hours of LTSA per week produced a RR of 0.70 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.54–0.91) in men and 0.57 (95% CI: 0.35–0.94) in women. In the group with the highest LTSA-index, the RR was 0.61 (95% CI: 0.44–0.84) in men and 0.46 (95% CI: 0.25–0.85) in women.


LTSA is inversely associated with all-cause mortality in females and males.


Leisure time sports activity All-cause mortality Germany 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Public HealthUniversity of Bremen BremenGermany
  2. 2.Centre of Social Policy ResearchUniversity of Bremen

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