Quality of life in older Scottish adults: the effects of physical activity

Angela Beggan, Alan Simpson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Active Communities (AC) is a pilot project designed to increase uptake of physical activity in Scottish populations most at risk of physical inactivity. These populations include older adults. Consultation with various health and social care organisations was undertaken, so that novel physical activity opportunities could be included with existing provision. As part of a multi-faceted evaluation process, the Medical Outcomes Study short-form health survey (SF-12v2) was used to measure the quality of life (QoL) in 68 participants. The SF-12v2 assesses physical functioning, role-physical, role-emotional, mental health, bodily pain, and general health to provide summary scale information on both physical and mental healthrelated QoL. Both physical component (PCS) and mental component (MCS) scores were produced. QoL is seen as an important component in health promotion activities because it measures self-perceptions giving insight into intervention effectiveness, while reporting on the reciprocal relationship between social and health conditions. It was a possibility that QoL scores would differ between the novel and the pre-existing classes in the initial testing phase because the length of exposure to regular physical activity would vary between the groups. The SF12v2 was imbedded in a survey instrument which was administered to participants across all AC groups. Out of 68 respondents 37 were older adults (aged 55 and over). Of this 37,15 respondents attended novel classes while the remaining 12 attended existing classes. Findings from paired sample t-tests reported a significant difference between the QoL scores for the MCS scores (p < .005), but no significant difference between the PCS scores (p > .125). These findings suggest that longer term exposure to physical activity opportunities has a positive effect on the QoL and mental health of Older Adults.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Quality of life
  • Physical activity
  • Mental health


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