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Aging Ment Health. 2009 Jan;13(1):1-8. doi: 10.1080/13607860802154416.

Relationships between physical activity and perceived qualities of life in old age. Results of the SNAC study.

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School of Social Science, Vaxjo University, Vaxjo, Sweden.



The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationships of different types of quality of life to strenuous and light physical activity in old age.


The Swedish SNAC-Blekinge baseline database, consisting of data on 585 men and 817 women 60-96 years of age, was utilized. The independent variables were light and strenuous physical activity. Four dependent variables concerned with various quality of life components were employed (well-being, engagement, emotional support and social anchorage). Age, gender, functional ability and co-morbidity were included as possible confounders. Non-parametric bivariate and multivariate statistical tests were performed.


Correlations suggested there to generally be a positive relationship between physical activity and quality of life. Multivariate logistic regression analyses controlling for possible confounders showed light physical activity to increase the odds of experiencing well-being, engagement and social anchorage, whereas strenuous physical activity increased the odds of experiencing engagement and emotional support. Thus, light physical activity and strenuous physical activity differed in their relation to quality of life generally.


The results indicate that physical activity has a salutogenic effect by enhancing the quality of life, and it can be assumed to be connected to quality of life by generating pleasure and relaxation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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