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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Physical activity and health related quality of life

Nana Kwame Anokye1*, Paul Trueman1, Colin Green2, Toby G Pavey3 and Rod S Taylor2

Author affiliations

1 Health Economics Research Group (HERG), Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, England

2 Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, Veysey Building, Salmon Pool Lane, Exeter, EX2 4SG, England

3 School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, St. Lucia Campus, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2012, 12:624  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-624

Published: 7 August 2012

Abstract

Background

Research on the relationship between Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) and physical activity (PA), to date, have rarely investigated how this relationship differ across objective and subjective measures of PA. The aim of this paper is to explore the relationship between HRQoL and PA, and examine how this relationship differs across objective and subjective measures of PA, within the context of a large representative national survey from England.

Methods

Using a sample of 5,537 adults (40–60 years) from a representative national survey in England (Health Survey for England 2008), Tobit regressions with upper censoring was employed to model the association between HRQoL and objective, and subjective measures of PA controlling for potential confounders. We tested the robustness of this relationship across specific types of PA. HRQoL was assessed using the summary measure of health state utility value derived from the EuroQol-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) whilst PA was assessed via subjective measure (questionnaire) and objective measure (accelerometer- actigraph model GT1M). The actigraph was worn (at the waist) for 7 days (during waking hours) by a randomly selected sub-sample of the HSE 2008 respondents (4,507 adults – 16 plus years), with a valid day constituting 10 hours. Analysis was conducted in 2010.

Results

Findings suggest that higher levels of PA are associated with better HRQoL (regression coefficient: 0.026 to 0.072). This relationship is consistent across different measures and types of PA although differences in the magnitude of HRQoL benefit associated with objective and subjective (regression coefficient: 0.047) measures of PA are noticeable, with the former measure being associated with a relatively better HRQoL (regression coefficient: 0.072).

Conclusion

Higher levels of PA are associated with better HRQoL. Using an objective measure of PA compared with subjective shows a relatively better HRQoL.

Keywords:
Health related Quality of Life; Objective measure; Self reports; Physical activity; EQ-5D