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01-10-2016 | Brief Communication | Uitgave 10/2016 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 10/2016

Association of physical fitness with health-related quality of life in early postmenopause

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 10/2016
N. Moratalla-Cecilia, A. Soriano-Maldonado, P. Ruiz-Cabello, M. M. Fernández, E. Gregorio-Arenas, P. Aranda, V. A. Aparicio



To assess the association of different components of physical fitness with HRQoL in early postmenopause and to test which physical fitness components are independently associated with the physical and mental components of HRQoL.


The final sample comprised 67 early postmenopausal women. Physical fitness was assessed with the Senior Fitness Test battery (additionally including handgrip strength test), and HRQoL was evaluated with the Short-Form Health Survey-36 (SF-36). We also analyzed plasma gonadotropic hormones and estradiol.


Overall, most of the fitness components were positively associated with HRQoL. Lower-body flexibility, upper-body muscle strength and cardiorespiratory fitness were the fitness components more strongly associated with HRQoL (r range from 0.28 to 0.56). Static balance was especially associated with mental health (r = −0.46, P < 0.001). Lower-body flexibility (assessed with the chair sit-and-reach test) and upper-body muscle strength (assessed with handgrip dynamometry) were independently associated with the SF-36 Physical Component Summary (both, P < 0.001). Upper-body muscle strength (P < 0.01) and cardiorespiratory fitness (assessed with the 6-min walk test, P < 0.05) were independently associated with the SF-36 Mental Component Summary.


Higher physical fitness is associated with better HRQoL in early postmenopause. Lower-body flexibility and upper-body muscle strength were the most important independent fitness indicators, explaining ~30 % of HRQoL.

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