Sheila A. Dugan, Susan A. Everson-Rose, Kelly Karavolos, Barbara Sternfeld, Deidre Wesley and Lynda H. Powell
This study was done to determine whether physical activity at baseline is independently associated with musculoskeletal pain and fulfilling one’s physical role over 3 subsequent years.
Our research involved a 3-year longitudinal study of over 2400 community-dwelling, midlife women from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN). Measurements included baseline physical activity using the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan Activity Survey and SF-36 role-physical and bodily pain indices at each of 3 annual follow-up visits.
Each 1-point increase on the physical activity score was associated with a 7% greater likelihood of a high role-physical score (95% CI = 1.02– 1.13) and a 10% greater likelihood of a low bodily pain score (95% CI = 1.04–1.17) after adjusting for age, race, menopausal status, educational level, body mass index, depressive symptoms, smoking, and chronic medical conditions. The association between physical activity level and role-physical score was eliminated in the fully adjusted model after adjustment for pain level in post hoc analysis [OR = 1.04 (95% CI = 0.98–1.09)].
This study demonstrates that women who are more physically active at midlife experience less bodily pain over time regardless of menopausal status, sociodemographics, and medical conditions. Higher physical activity level positively impacts fulfilling one’s physical role; however, this is mediated by pain level.
Sheila A. Dugan, Kelly Karavolos, Elizabeth B. Lynch, Chiquia S. Hollings, Francis Fullam, Brittney S. Lange-Maia and Lynda H. Powell
Physical inactivity in midlife women is associated with increased intra-abdominal adipose tissue development. We describe an innovative multimethod study 1) to better understand barriers to physical activity (PA) and 2) to engage midlife women to product test physical activities and identify local community-based providers and sustainable and fun PA experiences.
Formative research on PA barriers from the Chicago site Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) ancillary study of midlife women was used to develop a pilot testing measure. Feasibility, acceptability and sustainability of the PA activities were determined using the measure.
Desirable locations and/or instructors were identified. The first 2 groups identified, pilot tested, and then ranked activities for their ability to promote sustained PA. The 6 top-ranked were: circuit training, total body fitness, kickboxing, Zumba, Pilates, and pedometer. The final group pilot tested highly ranked PA in 2-week blocks, and ranked pedometer and Zumba in their top 3.
Consensus was reached regarding activities that could be valuable in promoting sustained PA in midlife women. Choosing convenient sites and popular instructors further facilitates sustainability. Building relationships with key community partners is essential for sustainability. Community-based participant involvement in study design is a critical element in developing a healthy living intervention.