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Associations between objectively measured physical activity levels and physical fitness and health-related quality of life in elderly women



Previous studies aimed at analyzing the associations between physical activity levels and physical fitness and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) did not consider the differences between physical activity levels calculated as overall physical activity (MVPAall) or accumulated in bouts of at least 10 min (MVPA10).Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the different effects of MVPAall or MVPA10 and physical fitness on health-related quality of life in a population of young and older women.


Physical activity levels were objectively evaluated for 7 consecutive days. Physical fitness was determined with a handgrip strength test and a maximal treadmill test. HRQoL was measured with the Short Form 36 Health Status Survey.


Although young women resulted more fit than older women [both cardiorespiratory and maximal strength resulted significantly higher in young adults with respect to older adults (p < 0.05)], no differences were detected for physical activity levels (neither MVPAall nor MVPA10) or HRQoL between groups. MVPAall was significantly higher than MVPA10 (p < 0.01). The Canonical correlation analysis revealed that there was a positive relationship between the level of cardiorespiratory fitness and the Physical Component Summary of HRQoL and that there was a negative relationship between vigorous physical activity and Social Functioning (p = 0.016). Otherwise, neither physical activity nor physical fitness influenced the Mental Component Summary.


These results will be useful for designing physical activity programs, aiming to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and that could also positively affect HRQoL.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2



Heart rate


Physical activity

MVPAall :

Overall physical activity

MVPA10 :

Physical activity accumulated in bouts of at least 10 min


Time spent in sedentary physical activity


Light physical activity


Moderate physical activity


Vigorous physical activity


Short Form 36 Health Status Survey


Health-related quality of life


Physical Functioning




Bodily Pain


General Health




Social Functioning




Mental Health


Physical Component Summary


Mental Component Summary

\( \dot{V}{\text{O}}_{{2{\text{peak}}}} \) :

Maximal oxygen consumption expressed in absolute values

\( \dot{V} \)O2rel :

Maximal oxygen consumption relative to body mass


Isometric maximal voluntary contraction


iMVC related to body weight


Body Mass Index


Young adults


Older adults


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The authors would like to express their thanks and appreciation to the subjects for their time and effort.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Christel Galvani.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

An ethical approval has been obtained from the local review board and all procedures were carried out in line with the Declaration of Helsinki.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Ciprandi, D., Bertozzi, F., Zago, M. et al. Associations between objectively measured physical activity levels and physical fitness and health-related quality of life in elderly women. Sport Sci Health 14, 183–191 (2018).

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  • Older adults
  • Physical activity assessment
  • Physical fitness
  • Sedentary behavior