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06-05-2016 | Uitgave 11/2016

Quality of Life Research 11/2016

Prospective associations of objectively assessed physical activity at different intensities with subjective well-being in older adults

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 11/2016
Po-Wen Ku, Kenneth R. Fox, Yung Liao, Wen-Jung Sun, Li-Jung Chen



This study aimed to examine the longitudinal independent associations of objectively assessed physical activity at different intensities, including moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, light physical activity, and sedentary behaviors, with dimensions of subjective well-being in older adults.


A total of 307 community-dwelling older adults aged 65 or older in Taiwan were interviewed in 2012. Physical activity was assessed using triaxial accelerometry. Subjective well-being was measured using the Chinese Aging Well Profile. Among them, 295 attended an 18-month follow-up study in 2013. Hierarchical linear regression models with adjustment for socio-demographic variables, lifestyle behaviors, health status, accelerometer wear time, and state of well-being at baseline were performed.


The hierarchical regression models (step one) demonstrated that moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was associated with higher levels of follow-up general and specific dimensions of well-being (β = 0.19–0.24) with the exception of material and environmental well-being. After light physical activity was further included in the models (step two), the associations of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity with general, physical, and independence well-being remained, while the contribution of light physical activity was not significant. In contrast, light physical activity was a significant predictor of psychological, learning and growth, and social well-being in these models (β = 0.20–0.24), while these associations with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were attenuated or not significant. Sedentary time was not related to any dimension of well-being.


The findings indicate that moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and light physical activity are associated with different dimensions of well-being, suggesting that different intensities of late-life physical activity make distinct contributions to well-being.

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