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Maturitas. 2005 Nov-Dec;52(3-4):374-85. Epub 2005 Sep 29.

Physical activity, symptoms, esteem, and life satisfaction during menopause.

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  • 1Department of Kinesiology, University of Illinois, 906 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801, USA.



The present study examined the relationships among physical activity (PA), symptom reporting, self-esteem, and satisfaction with life (SWL) in 133 women (M age=51.12, S.D.=4.10) of varying menopausal status.


Multivariate analyses of co-variance (MANCOVA) revealed that independent of menopausal status, women who were more physically active reported significantly less severe vaso-somatic and general somatic symptoms, and higher levels of physical self-worth (PSW). Subsequent hierarchical regression analyses indicated that expended MET-h/week, reported symptoms (frequency and severity, respectively), and PSW accounted for significant variance in SWL (R2 model=0.32, for symptom frequency, and 0.33, for symptom severity). Physical activity was significantly related to SWL through the mediation of PSW. However, both reported symptom frequency and severity retained significant association with SWL after controlling for PSW, although the original associations were significantly reduced. Finally, both symptoms and MET-h/week were independent contributors to the variance in PSW (R2 model=0.33 and 0.34).


The results suggest that being physically active may reduce perceived severity of menopausal symptoms and enhance psychological well-being, and that the relationship between physical activity and QOL in mid-life women may be mediated by factors such as physical self-perceptions and menopausal symptoms.

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