This paper examines factors associated with physical activity and health status among the 796 subjects aged 55 and older who appear in both the 1981 Canada Fitness Survey (CFS) and The Campbell’s Survey on Well-Being (CSWB), a longitudinal follow-up to the CFS. The CSWB can provide information about changes in physical activity patterns and health between 1981 and 1988. Although nonresponse to the overall survey was low, item nonresponse was problematic in some cases. Approximately 50% of the sample were not assessed on physical fitness measures (e.g., body mass index), while 14% and 38% refused to answer questions concerning alcohol consumption and family income, respectively. Of specific interest are the relationships of physical activity levels and self-rated health with socio-economic status, age, gender, smoking history, alcohol consumption, and measures of body composition.
The authors are with the Department of Health Studies and Gerontology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1. John P. Hirdes is also with Grand River Hospital, 3570 King St. East, Kitchener, ON, Canada N2A 2W1. Direct correspondence to John. P. Hirdes.