181203 Obesity, Morbidity, and Quality of Life within a Highly Active Population: An Examination of the Relationship Between Persistent Activity and Successful Aging

Monday, October 27, 2008

Kelly Pfaffenberger, BS , Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Jeanne D. Johnston, PhD , Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Fernando Ona, Ph D , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Joel Stager, Ph D , Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Colleen McCraken, MS , Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Participation in consistent and structured physical activity may reduce the prevalence of obesity-related diseases over a lifecourse thus promoting successful aging. Rowe and Kahn (1998) defined successful aging as low probability of disease, high cognitive and physical function and active engagement with life. An examination of a highly active cohort (United States Master Swimmers) may lead to a better understanding of the relationship between lifelong physical activity, successful aging, morbidity, and quality of life. 730 highly active (11hrs∙wk-1 ± 7.6) individuals aged 20 to 93 years (50years±14) with a mean BMI of 24.4 ± 3.4 reported swimming for an average of 18.6 ±12.1 yrs. The percentage of subjects classified as obese (5.4%) and the prevalence of obesity-related disease (hypertension, 6.5%; diabetes, 1%; coronary artery disease, 1.3%) was considerably less than general population values. Both physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) quality of life (QOL) scores were significantly (p < 0.001) greater than that of the general population. Further, the PCS scores of the sample group remained relatively stable until age 55, where a slow decline began, where as in the general population a decline typically occurs earlier. Public health promotion interventions that encourage lifelong physical activity programs can be an effective means to prevent obesity-related diseases and maintain QOL across the lifespan. The results from this sample indicate that persistent physical activity is associated with crucial indicators of successful aging.

Learning Objectives:
Learning objectives: 1. Discuss the relationship between persistent physical activity, obesity, and obesity-related diseases. 2. Discuss the impact of persistent physical activity on physical and mental health during the aging process. 3. Discuss the notion of emphasizing lifelong physical activity as a means to promote healthy weight, low morbidity, and successful aging.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have investigated and researched the topic in a manner to allow for a better understanding of the topic of physical activity, obesity-related disease and quality of life.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.