Social Indicators Research

, Volume 117, Issue 3, pp 705–718 | Cite as

Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Associations of Categories of Physical Activities with Dimensions of Subjective Well-Being in Taiwanese Older Adults

  • Po-Wen Ku
  • Kenneth R. Fox
  • Chun-Yi Chang
  • Wen-Jung Sun
  • Li-Jung ChenEmail author


Physical activity takes place in different social contexts such as leisure, home, and work. However, the differential associations of these distinct categories of activity with aspects of well-being have rarely been investigated. This study was designed to estimate independent associations of (a) leisure-time, (b) domestic and (c) work-related physical activities with subjective well-being in older adults. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2009 with 2,295 community-dwelling older adults aged 65 or older in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Among them, 307 participants were selected for a 3-year follow-up study in 2012. The results based on cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses demonstrated that leisure-time physical activity, after multivariate adjustment, was positively associated with five dimensions of well-being, including ‘physical’, ‘psychological’, ‘independence’, ‘learning and growth’, and ‘social’ well-being. Household physical activity was positively associated only with ‘social’ well-being. Occupational physical activity was not related to any dimension of well-being. The study suggests that associations between physical activity and dimensions of subjective well-being during later life are dependent on the social context in which the activity takes place. This study indicates that physical activity taken as leisure has greatest potential to enhance the quality of life of older adults.


Exercise Aging Quality of life Life satisfaction 



The research was funded by Taiwan National Science Council (NSC 100-2628-H-018-002-MY2). The authors thank two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Po-Wen Ku
    • 1
  • Kenneth R. Fox
    • 2
  • Chun-Yi Chang
    • 3
  • Wen-Jung Sun
    • 4
  • Li-Jung Chen
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Graduate Institute of Sports and HealthNational Changhua University of EducationChanghua CityTaiwan
  2. 2.Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  3. 3.Department of Physical EducationNational Hsinchu University of EducationHsinchu CityTaiwan
  4. 4.Family Medicine DepartmentTaipei City Hospital Zhongxing BranchTaipeiTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of Exercise Health ScienceNational Taiwan University of Physical Education and SportTaichungTaiwan

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