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West J Med. Mar 1999; 170(3): 167–169.
PMCID: PMC1305535

Physical fitness, aging, and sexuality.


Sexuality is a major quality-of-life issue, even into advanced age. Although relatively few studies have addressed sexuality, most studies have emphasized the decline in both sexual performance and satisfaction with aging. In an effort to assess possible positive modifiers of the decline, we included questions concerning sexuality in a multipurpose 90-item questionnaire submitted to members of the Fifty Plus Fitness Association based in Stanford, California. This group is unique in its commitment to a very active lifestyle and has served as a cohort for many prior studies related to fitness and medical outcomes. Sixty-seven percent of the membership returned the mail questionnaire, and 59% of these respondents replied to the sexually relevant items. The results indicated a high level of sexual activity and satisfaction in both older men and women of the Fifty Plus Fitness Association members. Further, sexual satisfaction seemed to correlate with the degree of fitness. We conclude that physical fitness and high levels of sexual activity are mutually supportive elements of successful aging.

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Selected References

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