Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 181–200

Quality of Life Assessment for Physical Activity and Health Promotion

  • Diane L. Gill
  • Yu-Kai Chang
  • Karen M. Murphy
  • Kathryn M. Speed
  • Cara C. Hammond
  • Enid A. Rodriguez
  • MinJeong Lyu
  • Ya-Ting Shang


Despite the clear relationship of physical activity and quality of life (QoL), QoL measures are seldom targeted for physical activity and health promotion. The current research attempted to address that gap by developing a QoL measure based on a conceptual model that reflects positive health and is relevant for physical activity and health promotion programs. In the project, which extended over three phases, an initial 70-item QoL survey was administered to university students and community program participants (total n = 512) along with measures of satisfaction with life and physical activity. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses revealed clear social, emotional, cognitive, physical, spiritual and functional (ADL) QoL factors as well as integrated QoL. The resulting 32-item QoL Survey fits the conceptual model, demonstrates logical relationships with physical activity and has sufficient psychometric properties for use in related research and health promotion programs.


Physical activity Positive health Assessment Survey development 


  1. American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) (2009). ACSM position stand: exercise and physical activity for older adults. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 41, 1510–1530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berger, B. G., & Tobar, D. (2007). Physical activity and quality of life. In G. Tenenbaum & R. Eklund (Eds.), Handbook on research on sport psychology (3rd ed., pp. 598–620). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  3. Brown, D. W., Balluz-Lina, S., Heath, G. W., Moriarty, D. G., Ford, E. S., Giles, W. H., et al. (2003). Associations between recommended levels of physical activity and health-related quality of life: findings from the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. Preventive Medicine, 37, 520–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Colcombe, S., & Kramer, A. F. (2003). Fitness effects on the cognitive function of older adults: a meta-analytic study. Psychological Science, 14, 125–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Craig, C. L., Marshall, M., Sjorstrom, M., et al. (2003). International Physical Activity Questionnaire: 12-country reliability and validity. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35, 1381–1395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Diener, E., Scollon, K. N., Oishi, S., Dzokoto, V., & Suh, E. M. (2000). Positivity and the construction of life satisfaction judgments: global happiness is not the sum of its parts. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1, 159–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ferrans, C. E., & Powers, M. (1985). Quality of life index: development and psychometric properties. Advances in Nursing Science, 8, 15–24.Google Scholar
  9. Fry, P. S. (2000). Guest editorial: aging and quality of life (QoL)—the continuing search for quality of life indicators. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 50, 245–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Galambos, C. M. (1997). Quality of life for the elder: a reality or an illusion? Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 27(3), 27–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gill, D. L., Williams, K., Williams, L., Butki, B., & Kim, B. J. (1997). Physical activity and psychological well-being in older women. Women’s Health Issues, 7(1), 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gill, D. L., Williams, K., Williams, L., Kim, B. J., Schultz, A. M., Araki, K., et al. (2003). Physical activity behaviors and values of older women [Abstract]. Journal of Exercise and Sport Psychology, 25, S59–S60.Google Scholar
  13. Gill, D. L., Chang, Y. K., Murphy, K. J., & Holder, K. M. (2006). Quality of life assessment in physical activity and health promotion [Abstract]. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5, Suppl), S370–S371.Google Scholar
  14. Gillison, F. B., Skevington, S. M., Sato, A., Standage, M., & Evangelidou, S. (2009). The effects of exercise interventions on quality of life in clinical and healthy populations: a meta-analysis. Social Science & Medicine, 68, 1700–1710.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gonzalez, M., Casas, F., & Coenders, G. (2006). A complexity approach to psychological well-being in adolescents: major strengths and methodological issues. Social Indicators Research, 80, 267–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gonzalez, M., Coenders, G., Saez, M., & Casas, F. (2010). Non-linearity, complexity and limited measurement in the relationship between satisfaction with specific life domains and satisfaction with life as a whole. Journal of Happiness Studies, 11, 335–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hsieh, C.-M. (2008). The relative importance of health. Social Indicators Research, 87, 127–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kelley-Gillespie, N. (2009). An integrated model of quality of life for older adults based on a synthesis of the literature. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 4, 259–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kesaniemi, Y. A., Danforth, E., Jr., Jensen, M. D., Kopelman, P. G., Lefebvre, P., & Reeder, B. A. (2001). Dose-response issues concerning physical activity and health: an evidence-based symposium. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33, S351–S358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lee, C., & Russell, A. (2003). Effects of physical activity on emotional well-being among older Australian women: cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 54, 155–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lox, C. L., Martin Ginis, K. A., & Petruzzello, S. J. (2010). The psychology of exercise: integrating theory and practice (3rd ed.). Scottsdale: Holcomb Hathaway.Google Scholar
  23. Lustyk, M. K. B., Widman, L., Paschane, A. A. E., & Olson, K. C. (2004). Physical activity and quality of life: assessing the influence of activity frequency, intensity, volume, and motives. Behavioral Medicine, 30, 124–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Marcus, B. H., Selby, V. C., Niaura, R. S., & Rossi, J. S. (1992). Self-efficacy and the stages of exercise behavior change. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 63, 60–66.Google Scholar
  25. Marinelli, R. D., & Plummer, O. K. (1999). Healthy aging: beyond exercise. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 23(4), 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McAuley, E., & Elavsky, S. (2006). Physical activity, aging, and quality of life: implications for measurement. In W. Zhu (Ed.), Measurement issues and challenges in aging and physical activity research (pp. 57–68). Champaign: Human Kinetics.Google Scholar
  27. Myers, J. E., & Sweeney, T. J. (2004). The indivisible self: an evidence-based model of wellness. Journal of Individual Psychology, 60, 234–245.Google Scholar
  28. Naughton, M. J., & Shumaker, S. A. (2003). The case for domains of function in quality of life assessment. Quality of Life Research, 12(suppl 1), 73–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. O’Connor, R. (2004). Measuring quality of life in health. London: Elsevier Limited.Google Scholar
  30. Rejeski, W. J., & Mihalko, S. L. (2001). Physical activity and quality of life in older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 56A(Special Issue No 2), 23–35.Google Scholar
  31. Rejeski, W. J., Brawley, L. R., & Shumaker, S. A. (1996). Physical activity and health-related quality of life. Exercise and Sport Science Reviews, 24, 71–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rojas, M. (2006). Life satisfaction and satisfaction in domains of life: is it a simple relationship? Journal of Happiness Studies, 7, 467–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schechtman, K. B., & Ory, M. G. (2001). The effects of exercise on the quality of life of frail older adults: a preplanned meta-analysis of the FICSIT trials. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 23, 186–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schmitz, N., Kruse, J., & Kugler, J. (2004). The association between physical exercises and health-related quality of life in subjects with mental disorders: results from a cross-sectional survey. Preventive Medicine, 39, 1200–1207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Seligman, M. E. P. (2008). Positive health. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 57, 3–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Stathi, A., Fox, K. R., & McKenna, J. (2002). Physical activity and dimensions of subjective well-being in older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 10, 76–92.Google Scholar
  37. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1996). Physical activity and health: a report of the surgeon general. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.Google Scholar
  38. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2000). Healthy people 2010. Washington, DC: DHHS.Google Scholar
  39. Ware, J. E. (2000). SF-36 health survey update. Spine, 25, 3130–3139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ware, J. E., & Sherbourne, C. D. (1992). The MOS 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36). I. Conceptual framework and item selection. Medical Care, 30, 473–483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. World Health Organization (1946). Preamble to the constitution. (retrieved 5/28/10 from:
  42. World Health Organization (1998). WHOQOL users manual. (retrieved 8/12/10 from:

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V./The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diane L. Gill
    • 1
  • Yu-Kai Chang
    • 2
  • Karen M. Murphy
    • 1
  • Kathryn M. Speed
    • 1
  • Cara C. Hammond
    • 1
  • Enid A. Rodriguez
    • 1
  • MinJeong Lyu
    • 3
  • Ya-Ting Shang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of KinesiologyUniversity of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  2. 2.Graduate Institute of Coaching ScienceNational Taiwan Sport UniversityTaoyuanRepublic of China
  3. 3.Kyungnam UniversityMasanSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations