Objectives: Physical activity (PA) is associated with health-related quality of life (HRQL). The specific PA types that provide beneficial effects in an older population remain unclear. We assessed the association of total PA, walking, cycling, domestic work, sports and gardening with HRQL in middle-aged and elderly adults.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Participants: 5,554 participants, with a mean age of 69 years.
Measurements: Total PA was categorized in five groups to evaluate the dose-response effect of PA and specific PA types were categorized in tertiles. HRQL was measured with the EuroQoL 5-dimension. The outcome of every HRQL domain (i.e. mobility, self-care, daily activities, pain and mood) was expressed as having any problems versus not having problems. Logistic and linear regression analyses were used, adjusting for confounders, to examine associations of total PA and PA types with HRQL domains.
Results: In both middle-aged (<65 years) and elderly adults (>65 years), we found a dose-response association between total PA and better HRQL (i.e. lower odds of having problems in HRQL domains). In the middle-aged, sports was the only PA type associated with lower odds of having problems with all HRQL domains. In the elderly, all PA types were associated with less problems with HRQL domains, but cycling contributed most to the beneficial effect.
Conclusions: Total PA was associated with better HRQL. Sports and cycling were the activity types that contributed most to this association in the middle-aged and elderly, respectively. Since PA levels tend to decline with aging, cycling and sports should be promoted with the aim to improve HRQL.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Physical activity, cycling, domestic work, quality of life, elderly, Rotterdam Study.
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12603-017-0902-7, hdl.handle.net/1765/98544
Journal Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Koolhaas, C.M, Dhana, K, van Rooij, F.J.A, Schoufour, J.D, Hofman, A, & Franco, O.H. (2017). Physical activity types and health-related quality of life among middle-aged and elderly adults. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, 1–8. doi:10.1007/s12603-017-0902-7