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

Po Wen Ku, Kenneth R. Fox, Yung Liao, Wen Jung Sun, Li Jung Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Discussion: 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2909-2919
Number of pages11
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Accelerometry
  • Aging
  • Light intensity
  • Quality of life
  • Sedentary


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