Press Release

Physical Activity Associated With Quality of Life in Older Women

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November 12, 2001 Washington, DC Numerous studies have shown the important health benefits of physical activity for older adults, but less research has been done on the association between physical activity and quality of life. 

In the upcoming edition of Womens Health Issues, Kelli F. Koltyn, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Madison) examines the association between physical activity and quality of life in older women.  For this paper, she surveyed 60 women over the age of 60, living either independently or in assisted-care facilities.

Dr. Koltyn found that women living independently had significantly higher physical activity levels compared to women living in assisted care facilities.  They spent more time spent being physically active, had higher energy expenditures, and reported a higher frequency of vigorous activities, walking, and climbing stairs. The women living independently also had better overall quality of life, and scored higher in the quality of life domains associated with physical health, social relationships, and environment; however, there was no difference between the two groups in the psychological domain of quality of life.  Finally, Dr. Koltyn found that overall quality of life and the physical health domain were associated with physical activity in the sense that those women, regardless of living status, who engaged in more physical activity, reported higher quality of life compared to women who were engaged in lower levels of physical activity.

This study was supported by the Jacobs Institute/Ortho-McNeil Scholar in Womens Health Care grant.  This grant is given annually by the Jacobs Institute to researchers studying areas of significant interest in womens health.

Womens Health Issues is the official publication of The Jacobs Institute of Womens Health, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the knowledge, practice, and understanding of womens health by making America's health care system work better for women.  For the next few years, the Jacobs Institute is placing an emphasis on managed care, heart disease and menopause cutting edge issues that affect womens health and lives. 



NOTE: Review copies of this article are available to media from Steve Fitzer at 202/863-4989