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Quality of Life Research

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 333–338 | Cite as

Habitual physical activity and health-related quality of life in older adults: interactions between the amount and intensity of activity (the Nakanojo Study)

  • Yukitoshi AoyagiEmail author
  • Hyuntae Park
  • Sungjin Park
  • Roy J. Shephard
Article

Abstract

Purpose

This study examined relationships between health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and objective assessments of habitual physical activity in older adults, focusing on interactions between the amount and intensity of activity.

Methods

Subjects were healthy Japanese aged 65–85 years (74 men and 109 women). Pedometer/accelerometers measured their step counts and the intensity of physical activity in metabolic equivalents (METs) continuously 24 h per day for 1 year. Each individual’s final HRQOL was assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) instrument.

Results

The daily step count and the daily duration of physical activity at an intensity >3 METs were quite closely correlated (quadratic r 2 = 0.93, P < 0.05). After controlling for age, sex, and daily step count, the overall SF-36 score and four constituent dimensions (physical functioning, freedom from pain, vitality, and mental health) were all significantly higher in individuals spending >25% of their total activity at an intensity >3 METs. However, engagement in activity >3 METs was not significantly associated with the remaining SF-36 components (physical limitations, general health, social functioning, and emotional limitations).

Conclusions

Associations between moderate-intensity physical activity and HRQOL in older adults merit further evaluation by prospective studies and/or randomized controlled trials.

Keywords

Aging Exercise recommendations Pedometer/accelerometer Perceived health Step count 

Abbreviations

ANCOVA

Analysis of covariance

BP

Bodily pain

C1-C4

First through fourth categories of physical activity

GH

General health

HRQOL

Health-related quality of life

METs

Metabolic equivalents

MH

Mental health

PF

Physical functioning

RE

Role limitations due to problems of emotional health

RP

Role limitations due to problems of physical health

SD

Standard deviation

SF

Social functioning

SF-36

Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey

VT

Vitality

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was undertaken as part of the longitudinal interdisciplinary study on the habitual physical activity and health of elderly people living in Nakanojo, Gunma, Japan (the Nakanojo Study). The study was supported in part by a grant from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. The authors gratefully acknowledge the expert technical assistance of the research and nursing staffs of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, The University of Tokyo, and the Nakanojo Public Health Center. We would also like to thank the subjects whose participation made this investigation possible.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yukitoshi Aoyagi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hyuntae Park
    • 1
  • Sungjin Park
    • 1
  • Roy J. Shephard
    • 2
  1. 1.Exercise Sciences Research GroupTokyo Metropolitan Institute of GerontologyItabashi-ku, TokyoJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Physical Education and HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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