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The current meta-analysis first aimed to quantify the overall effect of physical exercise training on the quality of life (QoL) in healthy older adults. Second, the effects on the social, physical, and psychological QoL were assessed. In total, 16 randomized controlled trials were included. The primary analysis showed a medium effect of physical exercise training on QoL in healthy older adults (standard mean difference [SMD] = 0.38, confidence interval, CI, [0.18, 0.59], p < .05). The secondary analyses showed a positive medium effect of physical exercise training on the physical component of QoL (SMD = 0.39, CI [0.17, 0.60], p < .05), and a positive medium effect of physical exercise training on the psychological component of QoL (SMD = 0.348, CI [0.125, 0.570], p < .05), and no significant effect of physical exercise training on the social component of QoL was observed (SMD = 0.16, CI [−0.07, 0.38], p = .17). These findings warrant implementation efforts pertaining to exercise training for older adults to improve the QoL in our aging societies.

Raafs, Karssemeijer, Van der Horst, and Olde Rikkert are with the Department of Geriatric Medicine, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Karssemeijer, Olde Rikkert, and Kessels are with Radboudumc Alzheimer Center, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Aaronson and Kessels are with the Department of Medical Psychology, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Kessels is also with the Center for Cognition, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Kessels (Roy.Kessels@radboudumc.nl) is corresponding author.
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