The association between physical activity and body mass index, quality of life, life-space mobility and successful aging in older adults.
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The biggest threat to healthy aging is sedentary living with the golden years of most individuals being affected by disorders that are exacerbated by unhealthy lifestyles. Helping people age better is important and it can be achieved through participation in regular physical activity. Monitoring population levels of physical activity using subjective and objective measures is an important part of a public health response. This study aimed to determine the physical activity and body composition levels of older adults and the association of physical activity on body composition with health-related quality of life, life-space mobility and successful aging of life of older adults in Chatsworth, KwaZulu-Natal Province. A total of 210 older adults were randomly selected, both male and females, participated in the study and completed the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire, RAND Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Health Survey, Life-Space Mobility Questionnaire and the Successful Aging Scale. BMI (kg/m2) was determined and step count was tracked for 7 days with the Omoron Pedometer. There were positive correlations between the participants actual physical activity and self-reported physical activity levels (r=0.183, p=0.008). The majority of the participants were overweight (51%, n=107). There was no significant relationship between BMI (r=0.63, p=0.366) and actual steps taken as well as no significant correlation with SF-36 and the average number of steps in 7 days of the participants (r=-0.112, p=0.107). A significant correlation between total LSQ (r=0.224, p=0.001) and SAS (r=-0.152, p=0.027) with the average number of steps in 7 days of the participant was noted. It was concluded that there is a positive relationship between self-reported physical activity and actual activity and life-space mobility and successful aging of life in older adults, but such relationship is not meaningfully predictive in this population. Strategies to improve physical inactivity in the elderly need to be implemented to ensure successful aging and quality of life in the elderly.