Physical activity, sedentary time and subjective well-being in Taiwanese older adults

Po-Wen Ku *, Kenneth R. Fox **, Li-Jung Chen *** and Pesus Chou ****

(*) Instiute of Public Health National Yang Ming University, Taiwan, Graduate Institute of Sports and Health, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan
(**) Department of Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Bristol, UK
(***) Department of Exercise Health Science, National Taiwan College of Physical Education, Taiwan
(****) Institute of Public Health, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan


Ku, P., R. Fox, K., Chen, L., Chou, P. (2011). Physical activity, sedentary time and subjective well-being in Taiwanese older adults. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 42(3), 245-262.


The purpose of the study was to investigate whether physical activity and time spent sedentary are associated with subjective well-being in older people. A nationally representative telephone survey was used (n=1,450; mean age 62.1±9.1 years). The results demonstrated that total physical activity (kcal/week) was positively related to several dimensions of subjective well-being, including physical, psychological, independence, learning and growth, and social well-being. These associations, especially in physical and independence well-being, were stronger in the older group (70+ years). Time spent in sedentary mode produced negative and low-to-moderate correlations with subjective well-being, particularly physical, independence, learning and growth, and environmental well-being. These relationships were stronger in females. Older people, especially females and those 70 years and older who are more physically active and spent less sedentary time, experience higher levels of well-being,. These findings draw attention to the role of an active lifestyle for enhancing well-being in the older population.

Keywords: Aging, Sedentary Behavior, Quality of Life, Life Satisfaction