To examine the dose-response relationship between health related quality of life (HRQoL) and life satisfaction (outcomes) and duration of recreational physical activity (exposure). Further, to explore whether these relationships depend on type of physical activity (PA).
793 Australian rural-living women self-reported on duration of recreational PA; HRQoL via SF-36 Mental Component Summary (MCS) and Physical Component Summary (PCS); and a life satisfaction scale. ANOVAs and ANCOVAs investigated differences in outcomes (MCS, PCS, and life satisfaction) between tertiles of exposure to recreational PA, and types of PA (club sport, gymnasium, walking), with adjustment for potential confounders.
A significant positive dose-response relationship was found between PCS and level of PA. Furthermore, this relationship depended on type of PA, with club-sport participants recording higher PCS than non-club-sport participants in all but the highest tertile of exposure. Life satisfaction and MCS were not significantly related to level of PA.
Physical health was positively associated with level of recreational PA, with club sport participation contributing greater benefits at low to moderate exposures than participation in gymnasium or walking activities.