State of the Art Review: Advances in Physical Activity and Mental Health: Quality of Life

Edward Mcauley, Katherine S. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Biomedical advances and the practice of preventive health behaviors have resulted in an unprecedented growth in the older population of the United States, a trend projected to continue during the next several decades. However, the addition of years to life is no guarantee that those years will be quality years. There is growing evidence to suggest that physical activity is a behavioral modality that is consistently associated with quality of life outcomes. However, there are numerous conceptual, theoretical, and definitional ambiguities associated with this literature. In this review, we examine the literature on physical activity and quality of life in older adults. Specifically, attention is given to the conceptualization of quality of life in the medical and psychological disciplines and how these differential viewpoints influence the outcomes measured and the nature of the relationships reported. We also address the question of whether a dose-response relationship exists between these constructs, as well as the extent to which physical activity is associated with important aspects of cognitive, physical, and psychosocial function. Finally, we propose a multidimensional model for examining the potential mediating and moderating factors in the physical activity and quality-of-life relationship and discuss the practical implications that such a model has for practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-396
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • physical activity
  • quality of life
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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