Since overweight (25 ≤ BMI < 30) and obesity (BMI ≥ 30 Kg/m2) are associated with poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and regular physical activity is associated with higher levels of HRQOL, the authors examined the relationship between physical activity and HRQOL among overweight and obese adults (age ≥ 18 years) residing in the United States.
Using the 2005 BRFSS survey, they examined the independent relationship between recommended physical activity and measures of HRQOL developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention among 283,562 adults age 18 years or older with overweight or obesity. Measures of physical activity, height, weight, and HRQOL were self-reported. Multivariable logistic regression was used to obtain odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, sex, education, smoking status, chronic disease, and body-mass index.
The proportion of adults with overweight and obesity who attained recommended levels of physical activity had higher levels of HRQOL than physically inactive adults for all age, racial/ethnic, and sex groups. After multi-variable adjustment, overweight and obese adults who met the recommended level of physical activity had higher levels of HRQOL than physically inactive adults across all age strata.
These results highlight the HRQOL role that physical activity can have among overweight and obese persons despite their excess body weight.
Heath is with the Depts of Health and Human Performance and Medicine, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN. Brown is with the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.