A cross-sectional study of physical activity and health-related quality of life in an elderly Indonesian cohort

© The College of Occupational Therapists Ltd.Introduction: Improving health-related quality of life (QoL) may have far-reaching clinical implications, and previous studies have shown associations between participation in physical activity and higher QoL. However, it is unclear which types of physical activity are particularly beneficial and how much of this relationship is explained by instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) following physical activity. Method: This observational study measured frequency of participation in several different physical activities and IADL scores in a large elderly, community-dwelling sample. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to assess relationships between these variables and self-rated QoL using the Medical Outcome Survey SF-36 questionnaire. Findings: Participation in walking was found to be associated with higher QoL ratings in older men and women. IADL scores were correlated with QoL ratings but only partially mediated the association between walking and QoL. Participation in other types of physical activity was not significantly associated with QoL ratings. Conclusion:Walking may be recommended alongside treatment for illness or disability due to its potential benefits to QoL and treatment outcomes. Further research should investigate the role of physical fitness in this relationship, to determine whether these findings can be replicated in different populations.