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Fuzhong Li and K. John Fisher

Objectives:

This study examined the relationship between physical activity and self-rated health in older adults at both the neighborhood level and the resident level.

Methods:

A multilevel design was used that involved neighborhoods as the primary sampling unit and residents nested within each neighborhood. Residents (N = 582, mean age = 73.99 years, SD = 6.26) from 56 neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon, were surveyed on neighborhood physical activity and health status.

Results:

Multilevel path analysis showed a positive relationship between physical activity and health status at the neighborhood level. In addition, perceptions of neighborhood social cohesion, proximity to physical activity facilities, safety for walking, and importance of physical activity involvement, were positively related to high levels of physical activity. At the resident level, education and walking efficacy were positively associated with physical activity.

Conclusions:

The results provide evidence that neighborhood-level physical activity is positively linked to neighborhood-level self-rated health in older adults.

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Paula C. Fletcher and John P. Hirdes

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.

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Philip von Rosen and Maria Hagströmer

Across a 24-hour day, time is disproportionately spent in different movement behaviors, such as sleep, sedentary, or active behaviors, influencing important health outcomes such as self-rated health. 1 – 3 The ability to perform daily activities without limitations, such as time spent in

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Caitlin Mason, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Cora L. Craig, and Lise Gauvin

Background:

This study investigates the degree to which the relationship between self-rated health and mortality is consistent across income groups in Canada and whether it can be explained by differentials in physical activity.

Methods:

A sample of 17,852 adults in the 1981 Canada Fitness Survey was followed for 13 y for mortality.

Results:

After adjusting for several confounders, there was a dose-response relationship between self-rated health and all-cause, CVD, and cancer mortality. This relationship persisted across levels of income. Physical activity was inversely related to mortality; however, the risk of mortality associated with low self-rated health did not differ significantly between activity groups.

Conclusions:

Physical activity does not appear to be a significant mediating or moderating factor in the relationship between self-rated health and mortality.

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Edward W. Gregg, Andrea M. Kriska, Kathleen M. Fox, and Jane A. Cauley

Self-rated health has been related to functional status, disability, and mortality in a variety of populations. This study examined whether self-rated health was related to physical activity levels independent of functional status in a population of older women. For this study, 9,704 women aged 65-99 rated their health on a scale ranging from excellent to very poor. Physical activity and functional status questionnaires and physical function tests were administered to evaluate levels of physical activity, strength, and function. Comparisons between women in three groups of self-rated health (good and excellent; fair; poor and very poor) indicated that higher self-rated health was strongly related to physical activity independent of physical strength, functional status, and co-morbidity. These findings suggest that physical activity is an important determinant of self-rated health in older women regardless of functional status.

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Jorge Mota, Rute M. Santos, Pedro Silva, Luisa Aires, Clarice Martins, and Susana Vale

Background:

The main goal of this study was to analyze the associations between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and body mass index (BMI) with self-rated health (SRH) of adolescent girls.

Methods:

This was a cross-sectional study of 533 adolescents girls, aged from 10 to 18 years old. CRF was predicted by maximal multistage 20-m shuttle-run test according to procedures described from FITNESSGRAM. Girls’ obesity status was classified according to International Obesity Task Force and Self-rated health (SRH) was assessed by questionnaire.

Results:

The findings showed that among adolescent girls 23.2% had negative SRH. Girls who were classified as unfit were more likely to report negative SRH in both univariate logistic (OR: 3.05; CI: 1.91−4.87; P < .05) and multivariate (OR: 2.93; CI: 1.82−4.72; P < .05) regression analyses compared with their fit peers. Obese girls were more likely to report negative SRH (OR: 2.30; CI: 1.14−4.62; P < .05) compared with their normal-weight counterparts. However such association was lost in multivariate analyses suggesting an effect of CRF.

Conclusions:

Negative perception of health was associated with lower CRF and weight status although such association it is mediated by CRF condition.

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Marko T. Kantomaa, Tuija Tammelin, Hanna Ebeling, Emmanuel Stamatakis, and Anja Taanila

Background:

Adolescent self-rated health is a strong predictor of future illness. In this study we investigated whether physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with self-rated health among adolescents aged 16 years.

Methods:

The study sample comprised 7,063 adolescents from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 (NFBC 1986) who responded to a postal questionnaire in 2001 to 2002. Self-rated health was measured by a single-item question, while physical activity was evaluated by a set of questions concerning the intensity and volume of physical activity outside school hours. Cardiorespiratory fitness was measured with a submaximal cycle ergometer test. Odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for good self-rated health were obtained from multinomial logistic regression.

Results:

High levels of physical activity (boys: OR 5.50, 95% CI 3.16 to 9.58; girls: OR 4.25, 95% CI 2.37 to 7.61) and cardiorespiratory fitness (boys: OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.05 to 3.24; girls: OR 2.62, 95% CI 1.47 to 4.66) were associated with very good self-rated health in adolescents.

Conclusions:

High levels of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness are positively associated with adolescents’ self-rated health. Public health promotion activities that foster physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness may benefit young people’s overall health and well-being.

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Sanna Takkinen, Timo Suutama, and Isto Ruoppila

This study examined longitudinally the predictive value of physical activity for a sense of meaning in life and for self-rated health and functioning. The study was part of the Evergreen Project in Jyväskylä, Finland. A representative sample (N = 198) of elderly persons born between 1904 and 1913 was interviewed in 1988 and followed up in 1996. The interviews dealt with physical, psychological, and social functioning. The interview questions selected for this study dealt with the intensity of physical activity, meaning in life, and self-rated health and functioning. Longitudinal models showed that physical activity had a positive effect on both meaning in life and self-rated health and functioning. Physical activity and meaning in life also had indirect effects on self-rated health and functioning.

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Joseph T. Ciccolo, Kelley K. Pettee Gabriel, Caroline Macera, and Barbara E. Ainsworth

Background:

Self-rated health (SRH) is a predictor of several clinical outcomes, including mortality. Physical activity is associated with SRH; however, the specific role that resistance training (RT) plays in this relationship is unknown. We explored the independent association between self-reported RT and SRH in a cross-sectional survey (National Physical Activity and Weight Loss Study; NPAWLS) conducted by the University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center in 2002.

Method:

Subjects were 9651 men and women (mean age 46.5 yrs) classified as having high or low SRH; and they were categorized into 2 groups: (1) meeting nationally recommended levels for RT (≥2 days/week); (2) not meeting levels (<2 days/week or no RT).

Results:

Meeting national recommendations was associated with male gender (P < .01), normal BMI (P < .01), and higher education (P < .01). When compared to individuals with low SRH, those with high SRH were 2 times as likely to meet recommended levels of RT (OR = 2.32; 95% CI = 1.96 to 2.76). The model modestly attenuated when fully adjusted for confounding variables, including other exercise (OR = 1.79; 95% CI = 1.49 to 2.15).

Conclusion:

This study identifies the specific positive relationship between RT and SRH, further supporting the health benefits of meeting the national recommendations for RT.

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Katya M. Herman, Catherine M. Sabiston, Angelo Tremblay, and Gilles Paradis

Background:

Self-rated health (SRH) is a common indicator of health-related quality of life; however, little is known about SRH in children. This study explored the associations of physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior (SED), and BMI with SRH in children at risk for obesity.

Methods:

Participants were 527 children aged 8–10 years in the Quebec Adipose and Lifestyle Investigation in Youth study (inclusion criteria: ≥ 1 parent clinically obese). PA and SED were measured by accelerometer, specific SED behaviors by self-report, and height and weight measured.

Results:

About 40% of children were overweight or obese; 48% reported lessthan- excellent health. The odds of reporting less-than-excellent health were higher among obese girls (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.4–5.2) and boys (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.5–6.1) versus healthy weight children. Boys not meeting PA guidelines and boys in the lowest moderate-to-vigorous PA tertile were at 2 and 6 times higher odds of less-than-excellent SRH, respectively, versus more active boys. In girls, higher computer/video time and reading time were associated with higher and lower odds of less-than-excellent SRH, respectively.

Conclusions:

Obesity is inversely associated with SRH in boys and girls, PA is positively associated with SRH in boys, and SED behaviors are associated with SRH in girls.