Associations Between Physical Function and Subjective Well-Being in Older Adults From Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Results From the Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health (SAGE)

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Background: Physical function is positively associated with subjective well-being in older adults from high-income nations. This study tests whether this association is evident in low- and middle-income countries. Methods: Data were drawn from the study on global AGEing and adult health, using nationally representative samples of individuals over 50 years old from China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa. Participant interviews measured well-being (quality of life, mood, and happiness) and physical function (grip strength, usual and rapid gait speed). Logistic regressions tested relations between physical function and well-being variables within each country. Results: Higher physical function measures exhibited moderate, yet significant, associations with increased odds of highly rated well-being (p < .05). However, higher gait speeds were unexpectedly associated with decreased odds of highly rated well-being (p < .05) in South Africa and Russia. Conclusion: These results suggest that physical function is generally positively associated with perceived well-being in older individuals from lower income nations.

Gildner is with the Dept. of Anthropology, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH. Snodgrass and Kowal are with the Dept. of Anthropology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR. Evans is with the Dept. of Sociology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR. Kowal is also with World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; the Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing, University of Newcastle, New Lambton Heights, New South Wales, Australia; and Chiang Mai University Research Institute for Health Sciences, Thailand.

Address author correspondence to Theresa E. Gildner at Theresa.E.Gildner@dartmouth.edu.
Journal of Aging and Physical Activity

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