Physical Activity in Middle Age Improves Health Among Women

Health-related quality of life improved after controlling for preexisting health conditions
Physical Activity in Middle Age Improves Health Among Women
Adobe Stock
Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, May 3, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Adherence to physical activity guidelines during middle age appears to improve health-related quality of life among women, according to a study published online May 2 in PLOS Medicine.

Binh Nguyen, Ph.D., of the University of Sydney, and colleagues evaluated data from 11,336 participants in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, a 1946 to 1951 birth cohort. Data were collected at three-year intervals from 1998 to 2019. The authors evaluated two interventions: meeting the World Health Organization physical activity guidelines consistently through the "exposure period" (when the women were aged 50-55 to 65-70 years) and not meeting the guidelines at the beginning of the exposure period, but meeting them later at ages 55, 60, or 65 years. The primary outcomes were physical and mental health component summary scores.

The researchers found that consistent adherence to guidelines during the exposure period and starting to meet the guidelines by age 55 years were linked to a 3-point higher physical component summary score compared with consistent nonadherence. The effect was significant even after controlling for socioeconomic factors and preexisting health diagnoses. The investigators did not observe a significant effect for physical activity on the mental health component summary scores.

"Our study contributes to growing evidence of the health benefits of maintaining or adopting an active lifestyle in mid-age," the authors write. "Such public health messages should be used to encourage middle-aged women to become and stay active."

Abstract/Full Text

Related Stories

No stories found.