Perceived health status does not always reflect actual health status. We investigated the association between objective and self-rated measures of health status and hours of exercise per week in older adults.
As part of the TRIL clinic assessment, we gathered information from 473 community dwelling adults over the age of 65, regarding hours spent per week exercising, depression, personality, perceived health status, and objective health status (in the form of a comorbidity count). Regression analyses were performed on these data to investigate whether perceived health status, objective health status, personality and mood are associated with hours of exercise per week.
Perceived and objective health status were significantly but weakly correlated. Both perceived and objective health status, as well as depression, were independently associated with hours of exercise per week.
We conclude that exercise uptake in older adults is contingent on both perceived and objective health status, as well as depression. Perceived health status has a stronger association with exercise uptake in older adults with lower depression levels. The current findings have implications for designing exercise interventions for older adults.
The authors are with the TRIL Centre, Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.