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Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2011 Jun 27;9:47. doi: 10.1186/1477-7525-9-47.

Longitudinal association of physical activity and sedentary behavior during leisure time with health-related quality of life in community-dwelling older adults.

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Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid/IdiPAZ-CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.



Evidence on the relation between leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in older adults is based primarily on clinical trials of physical exercise programs in institutionalized persons and on cross-sectional studies of community-dwelling persons. Moreover, there is no evidence on whether leisure-time sedentary behavior (LTSB) is associated with HRQoL independently of LTPA. This study examined the longitudinal association between LTPA, LTSB, and HRQoL in older community-dwelling adults in Spain.


Prospective cohort study of 1,097 persons aged 62 and over. In 2003 LTPA in MET-hr/week was measured with a validated questionnaire, and LTSB was estimated by the number of sitting hours per week. In 2009 HRQoL was measured with the SF-36 questionnaire. Analyses were done with linear regression and adjusted for the main confounders.


Compared with those who did no LTPA, subjects in the upper quartile of LTPA had better scores on the SF-36 scales of physical functioning (β 5.65; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.32-9.98; p linear trend < 0.001), physical role (β 7.38; 95% CI 0.16-14.93; p linear trend < 0.001), bodily pain (β 6.92; 95% CI 1.86-11.98; p linear trend < 0.01), vitality (β 5.09; 95% CI 0.76-9.41; p linear trend < 0.004) social functioning (β 7.83; 95% CI 2.89-12.75; p linear trend < 0.001), emotional role (β 8.59; 95% CI 1.97-15.21; p linear trend < 0.02) and mental health (β 4.20; 95% CI 0.26-8.13; p linear trend < 0.06). As suggested by previous work in this field, these associations were clinically relevant because the β regression coefficients were higher than 3 points. Finally, the number of sitting hours showed a gradual and inverse relation with the scores on most of the SF-36 scales, which was also clinically relevant.


Greater LTPA and less LTSB were independently associated with better long-term HRQoL in older adults.

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