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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2009 May-Jun;48(3):306-12. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2008.02.010. Epub 2008 Apr 3.

Feelings of well being in elderly people: relationship to physical activity and physical function.

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  • 1Institute of Biomedicine and Department of Physical Education, University of León, Campus Universitario, 24071 León, Spain.


The aim of the research was to investigate in a sample of Spanish elderly whether measures of physical activity and physical function are related to feelings of well being, and whether level of dependence is a moderator in the relation of well being, physical activity and physical function. The sample was a cohort of 151 elderly people (89 women and 62 men, aged 60-98 years) from the North of Spain. Participants completed surveys including demographic characteristics, and measures of physical activity (Yale Physical Activity Survey, YPAS), instrumental activities of daily living (Barthel Index, BI) and well being (Psychological Well Being Scale, from Spanish: Escala de Bienestar Psicológico=EBP). Components of the physical function were measured by the Senior Fitness Test (SFT). Upper and lower body strength, dynamic balance, aerobic endurance, self-reported weekly energy expenditure and physical activity total time were significantly correlated with both Material and Subjective well being. All components of physical function were significantly impaired in dependent subjects when compared to independent individuals of the same sex and physical activity category. Significant differences were also observed in Subjective well being among less active dependent or independent individuals. In conclusion, physical function and physical activity are related to feelings of well being, and results emphasize the positive functional and psychological effects of physical activity in dependent subjects.

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