Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 337–347 | Cite as

Maintaining Healthy Behavior: a Prospective Study of Psychological Well-Being and Physical Activity

  • Eric S. Kim
  • Laura D. Kubzansky
  • Jackie Soo
  • Julia K. Boehm
Original Article

Abstract

Background

Although higher psychological well-being has been linked with a range of positive biological processes and health outcomes, the prospective association between psychological well-being and physical activity among older adults has been understudied.

Purpose

We tested whether higher baseline psychological well-being predicted higher levels of physical activity over time.

Methods

Prospective data were from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging, a nationally representative sample of English adults over the age of 50. Our sample included 9986 adults who were assessed up to six times across an average of 11 years.

Results

After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, each standard deviation increase in baseline psychological well-being was associated with higher median physical activity in linear regression models that examined physical activity across all six waves (β = 0.20; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.18–0.21) and in linear mixed effect models that examined repeated measures of physical activity over the entire follow-up period (β = 0.20; 95% CI 0.19–0.21). Further, higher baseline psychological well-being was associated with a slower rate of decline in physical activity among people who were active at baseline (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.79, 95% CI 0.76–0.82) and increasing physical activity among people who were inactive at baseline (HR = 1.28, 95% CI 1.22–1.35). Findings were maintained after adjusting for baseline health status and depression.

Conclusions

Psychological well-being was independently associated with attaining and maintaining higher physical activity levels over 11 years, suggesting that it may be a valuable target for interventions aimed at helping older adults acquire more physical activity.

Keywords

Psychological well-being Physical activity Exercise Epidemiology Health psychology 

Supplementary material

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Figure S1(DOCX 17 kb)
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Table S1(DOCX 14 kb)
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Table S2(DOCX 15 kb)
12160_2016_9856_MOESM4_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Table S3(DOCX 14 kb)

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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric S. Kim
    • 1
  • Laura D. Kubzansky
    • 1
  • Jackie Soo
    • 1
  • Julia K. Boehm
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Social and Behavioral SciencesHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyChapman UniversityOrangeUSA

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