The purpose of this paper is to explore the association between level of physical activity (PA) and perception of quality of life (QOL) and physical health in frail and non-frail older adults.Design/methodology/approachVolunteer participants in this quantitative cross-sectional study were a convenience sample of 236 independent residents (120 frail, 116 non-frail) in an assisted living facility in Israel. Frailty was measured by Fried et al.’s phenotype; QOL and physical health were measured using the World Health Organization Quality of Life Instruments (WHOQOL-BREF) questionnaire. PA level was ascertained from attendance lists completed by exercise class instructors in each class during the eight-week study.FindingsFrail older adults who engaged in regular PA (at least 2.5 h/week) reported the same physical health as non-frail older individuals performing a similar level.Research limitationsUnsupervised PA performed independently was not taken into consideration; exercise class attendance may be a less reliable criterion of PA than collection of objective data, i.e. calories burned; participants were selected from an economically homogeneous population of a specific assisted living facility with easy access to a variety of PA.Practical implicationsThe level of PA performed by frail older adults impacts their perceived QOL and physical health. The logs were an incentive to attend PA classes.Originality/valueA minimum of 2.5 h a week of regular PA can be a protective factor that improves perceived QOL and physical health in frail older adults.
Quality in Ageing and Older Adults – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 17, 2020
Keywords: Ageing; Physical activity; Assisted living; Quality of life; Older adults; Physical health; Frailty