Details of Publication 708 for Project A424:

Heesch K, Gellecum Y, Burton N, van Uffelen J & Brown W. Physical activity, walking and quality of life in women with depressive symptoms. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2015; 483: 281-91

Background: Physical activity (PA) has a positive association with health-related quality of life (HRQL) in the general population. The association between PA and HRQL in those with poor mental health is less clear.Purpose: To examine the concurrent and prospective dose-response relationships between total physical activity (TPA) and walking only with HRQL in women aged 50-55 with depressive symptoms.Methods: Participants were 1904 women born in 1946-1951 who completed mailed surveys for the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health in 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010 and who, in 2001, reported depressive symptoms. At each time point, they reported their weekly minutes of walking, moderate PA, and vigorous PA. A summary TPA score was created that accounted for differences in energy expenditure among the three PA types. Mixed models were used to examine associations between TPA and HRQL (SF-36 component and subscale scores) and between walking and HRQL, for women who reported walking as their only PA. Analyses were conducted in 2013-2014.Results: Concurrently, higher levels of TPA and walking were associated with better HRQL (p<0.05). The strongest associations were found for physical functioning, vitality, and social functioning subscales. In prospective models, associations were attenuated, yet compared with women doing no TPA or walking, women doing sufficient TPA or walking had significantly better HRQL over time for most SF-36 scales.Conclusions: Our study extends previous work by demonstrating linear trends between both TPA and walking and HRQL in women with depressive symptoms, and that even low levels of PA offer benefits.