Leisure-Time Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviors and Subjective Well-Being in Older Adults: An Eight-Year Longitudinal Research

Abstract

This study aimed to assess the independent and prospective associations of aspects of self-reported leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) and leisure-time sedentary behaviors (LTSB) with subjective well-being (SWB). Data from the 1999, 2003, and 2007 phases of the Survey of Health and Living Status of the Elderly conducted by the Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare on a nationally representative sample of older Taiwanese were used. A fixed cohort of 1268 participants aged 70 years or older in 1999 with 8 years of follow-up was analyzed. Subjective well-being was assessed using the Life Satisfaction Index A. Frequencies per week of different types of LTSB and LTPA were self-reported. Generalized estimating equation models with multivariate adjustment for socio-demographic variables, lifestyle behaviors, and health status were developed. Participants who had higher frequencies of LTPA and LTSB, especially engaging in walking, yard/gardening, group exercise, TV watching, social chatting and reading, recorded higher levels of well-being. This was supported by a sensitivity analysis after excluding participants with potential cognitive decline. This study indicated that both LTPA and aspects of LTSB in later life may provide beneficial effects for subsequent SWB.

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Acknowledgments

The research was partly supported by Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology (NSC 100-2628-H-018 -002 -MY2). Professor Fox’s contribution was in part supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre based at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and University of Oxford.

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Correspondence to Li-Jung Chen.

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Ku, P., Fox, K.R. & Chen, L. Leisure-Time Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviors and Subjective Well-Being in Older Adults: An Eight-Year Longitudinal Research. Soc Indic Res 127, 1349–1361 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-015-1005-7

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Keywords

  • Sitting
  • Exercise
  • Aging
  • Quality of life
  • Life satisfaction