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Physical Activity and Body Mass Index (BMI) as Predictors of Health-related Quality of Life in Montana Adults

1Health Promotion Research, Havre, MT 59501

Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2021, Vol. 6 No. 2, 135-141
DOI: 10.12691/jpar-6-2-12
Copyright © 2021 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Peter D. Hart. Physical Activity and Body Mass Index (BMI) as Predictors of Health-related Quality of Life in Montana Adults. Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2021; 6(2):135-141. doi: 10.12691/jpar-6-2-12.

Correspondence to: Peter  D. Hart, Health Promotion Research, Havre, MT 59501. Email:


Background: Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important concept related to how health status affects a person’s life. Engaging in physical activity (PA) and maintaining healthy body weight are each linked to favorable HRQOL. However, the extent to which PA and body weight independently influence HRQOL is less known. The aim of this research was to examine how meeting PA guidelines and body mass index (BMI) affect a measure of HRQOL in adults. Methods: The Montana Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS, 2019) was used for this study. Three different PA guideline variables were used and included a two-level aerobic PA (APA) (met APA or did not meet APA) measure, a two-level muscle strengthening activity (MSA) (met MSA or did not meet MSA) measure, and a two-level PA guidelines (APA/MSA) (met both APA and MSA or did not meet both) measure. BMI was calculated from self-reported height and weight (kg/m2). HRQOL was assessed from a question asking participants to rate their general health with the following response options: “excellent”, “very good”, “good”, “fair” or “poor”. Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine the independent effects of PA and BMI on each HRQOL rating (relative to excellent) while controlling for sociodemographic variables. Results: Differences in HRQOL prevalence was seen within all sociodemographic variables except sex. Additionally, BMI was significantly (p < .05) greater in adults reporting fair or poor health (Mean = 30.30, SE = 0.32) compared to those reporting excellent, very good or good health (Mean = 27.28, SE = 0.09), with a similar trend seen across all sociodemographic groups. The fully adjusted regression model including APA/MSA showed decreased odds of very good (OR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.60 – 0.92), good (OR = 0.61, 95% CI: 0.49 – 0.78), fair (OR = 0.56, 95% CI: 0.40 – 0.78), and poor health (OR = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.28 – 0.69) (relative to excellent health) for adults meeting both APA and MSA. In the same model, increased odds was seen for very good (OR = 1.08, 95% CI: 1.06 – 1.10), good (OR = 1.15, 95% CI: 1.13 – 1.18), fair (OR = 1.19, 95% CI: 1.16 – 1.23), and poor health (OR = 1.16, 95% CI: 1.12 – 1.21) (relative to excellent health) for each 1-unit increase in BMI (1.00 kg/m2). Similar findings were seen in the separate APA model but not the MSA model. Conclusion: This study found that meeting PA guidelines and BMI were both independently related to HRQOL in adults. However, meeting MSA showed lower effects and inconsistent effects on HRQOL. Health promotion specialists concerned with improving HRQOL should promote both APA and MSA guidelines along with healthy body weight behavior. Physical activity programming should consider APA a priority over MSA for improving HRQOL in Montana adults.