Quality of Life Research

, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 1865–1873 | Cite as

Independent and combined association of overall physical fitness and subjective well-being with fibromyalgia severity: the al-Ándalus project

  • Fernando Estévez-López
  • Cindy M. Gray
  • Víctor Segura-Jiménez
  • Alberto Soriano-Maldonado
  • Inmaculada C. Álvarez-Gallardo
  • Manuel J. Arrayás-Grajera
  • Ana Carbonell-Baeza
  • Virginia A. Aparicio
  • Manuel Delgado-Fernández
  • Manuel Pulido-Martos



The present study aimed: (1) to test the associations of overall physical fitness and subjective well-being with fibromyalgia severity and (2) to determine whether the combination of overall physical fitness and subjective well-being is associated with fibromyalgia severity among adult women patients.


This cross-sectional study included 424 participants from Andalusia, southern Spain. Overall physical fitness and the components of subjective well-being (positive affect, negative affect and cognitive well-being), and fibromyalgia severity were assessed using the Functional Senior Physical Fitness Test Battery, the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, the Satisfaction With Life Scale, and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, respectively.


Overall physical fitness (β = −.23), positive affect (β = −.18), negative affect (β = .26), and cognitive well-being (β = −.18) were all associated with fibromyalgia severity. The patients with the highest overall physical fitness and increased subjective well-being reported ~15 % lower fibromyalgia severity than those with the lowest fitness and poorest subjective well-being (Cohen’s d > 1.0).


Our results suggest that higher levels of overall physical fitness and subjective well-being are independently associated with lower fibromyalgia severity. Moreover, patients with higher overall physical fitness and increased subjective well-being (high positive affect, low negative affect, or high cognitive well-being) reported lower fibromyalgia severity than those with low levels of overall physical fitness and subjective well-being.


Chronic pain Functional capacity Physical fitness Psychology Quality of life Resilience (psychological) 



The authors gratefully acknowledge all participants for their collaboration. We would like to thank collaborators in the al-Ándalus project and Prof. Sally Wyke (Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow) for helpful comments on preliminary versions of this manuscript, and Dr. Philip Mason (University of Glasgow) and Dr. Pedro Femia Marzo (University of Granada) for statistical advice. This study was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness [I+D+I DEP2010-15639], the Consejeria de Turismo, Comercio y Deporte (CTCD-201000019242-TRA), the Andalusia Institute of Sport, the Center of Initiatives and Cooperation to the Development (CICODE, University of Granada), and the Andalusian Federation of people with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and multiple chemical sensitivity (Alba Andalucía). FEL [BES-2014-067612] and IAG [BES-2011-047133] were supported by grants from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. VSJ [AP2010-0963] and ASM [FPU12/00963] were supported by the grants from the Spanish Ministry of Education.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no competing interests to report.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando Estévez-López
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cindy M. Gray
    • 2
  • Víctor Segura-Jiménez
    • 1
  • Alberto Soriano-Maldonado
    • 1
  • Inmaculada C. Álvarez-Gallardo
    • 1
  • Manuel J. Arrayás-Grajera
    • 3
  • Ana Carbonell-Baeza
    • 4
  • Virginia A. Aparicio
    • 5
  • Manuel Delgado-Fernández
    • 1
  • Manuel Pulido-Martos
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Sport SciencesUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Institute of Health and WellbeingUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  3. 3.Department of Physical Education, Music, and Fine Arts, Faculty of EducationUniversity of HuelvaHuelvaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Physical Education, Faculty of Education SciencesUniversity of CádizCádizSpain
  5. 5.Department of Physiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Sport and Health Institute, and Institute of Nutrition and Food TechnologyUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  6. 6.Department of Psychology, School of Humanities and Sciences of EducationUniversity of JaénJaénSpain

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