Dose-response relation of self-reported and accelerometer-measured physical activity to perceived health in middle age—the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 Study
BMC Public Health
Regular physical activity (PA) promotes health and decreases mortality. The positive relationship between PA and perceived health (PH) is well known. However, previous research in the field has often used self-reported PA measures. The aim of this population-based NFBC1966 birth cohort study was to assess the relationship between both self-reported and objectively measured PA and PH in midlife. Methods: A sample group of 6384 participants (2878 men, 3506 women, response rate 62%) aged 46
... ed a questionnaire on PH and health behaviors, including items on weekly leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and daily sitting time (ST). PH was dichotomized as good (very good or good) and other (fair, poor, or very poor). PA was measured with a wrist-worn Polar Active (Polar Electro, Finland) accelerometer for 14 days (n = 5481, 98%) and expressed as daily average time spent in moderate to vigorous intensity PA (MVPA). Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals for good PH were calculated using binary logistic regression and adjusted for relevant demographic, socioeconomic, and health characteristics, and ST. Results: The level of PA was positively associated with PH after adjustments with covariates and ST. There was a dose-response relationship across the PA quartiles according to the adjusted multivariable models. Self-reported LTPA was more strongly associated with good PH (OR from 1.72 to 4.33 compared to lowest PA quartile) than objectively measured PA (OR from 1.37 to 1.66 compared to lowest PA quartile). Conclusions: In this large population-based birth cohort study, we for the first time show a positive doseresponse relationship of both self-reported and objectively measured PA to PH, the relationship being stronger for self-reported LTPA. Despite the cross-sectional design of this study, the results from this large sample suggest that both self-reported and objectively measured physical activity are strongly associated with PH, which is a predictor of morbidity and mortality, and regular PA should be encouraged in midlife.