Quality of Life Research

, Volume 20, Issue 9, pp 1371–1378 | Cite as

Associations between objectively assessed physical activity levels and fitness and self-reported health-related quality of life in community-dwelling older adults

  • Flávia A. C. Wanderley
  • Gustavo Silva
  • Elisa Marques
  • José Oliveira
  • Jorge Mota
  • Joana Carvalho



Previous studies investigated the associations between health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and self-reported physical activity (PA) and/or self-reported physical fitness which are not the most reliable methods to assess PA and fitness. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the associations between HRQoL and each of objectively assessed habitual PA and physical fitness.


Eighty-five community-dwelling older adults (60–83 years) completed assessments for PA (counts/min and steps/day using accelerometers), physical fitness (six-minute walk test [6MWT] and hand-grip strength), and self-reported HRQoL (using the eight subscales of the SF-36). In adjusted logistic regression models, the upper quartile was compared against the lower three quartiles of scores on each HRQoL subscale. Results report the odds ratios that were significant in the adjusted models at P < 0.05.


Individuals with higher PA levels assessed by counts/min were more likely to score higher on physical functioning (PF) subscale (OR = 1.90). Individuals with superior 6MWT performance were more likely to score higher on PF (OR = 1.87), role limitations due to physical problems (RP) (OR = 1.95), and vitality (VT) (OR = 1.79). Individuals with superior hand-grip strength were more likely to score higher on RP (OR = 2.37) and VT (OR = 1.83).


Objectively assessed PA and physical fitness measures were positively associated with physical health HRQoL subscales as reported by community-dwelling older adults.


Older adults Physical fitness Perceived health Quality of life 



Body mass index


Bodily pain


General health


Health-related quality of life




Mental health


Odds ratio


Physical activity


Physical functioning


Quality of life


Role limitations due to emotional problems


Role limitations due to physical problems


Standard deviation


Social functioning


Medical outcomes study 36-item short-form health study


Maximum oxygen consumption




Six-minute walk test



The authors would like to thank to the volunteers of this study. Without their selfless contribution, this study would not have been possible. Grants from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (PTDC/DES/108780/2008 and SFRH/BD/33124/2007) supported this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Flávia A. C. Wanderley
    • 1
  • Gustavo Silva
    • 1
  • Elisa Marques
    • 1
  • José Oliveira
    • 1
  • Jorge Mota
    • 1
  • Joana Carvalho
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of SportUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal

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