The association between physical exercises and health-related quality of life in subjects with mental disorders: results from a cross-sectional survey

Prev Med. 2004 Dec;39(6):1200-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.04.034.


Objectives: The present study examines the relationship between health-related quality of life and physical activity among adults with affective, anxiety, and substance dependence disorders.

Methods: Analyses were conducted among participants in the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey (GHS), a nationally representative multistage probability survey, conducted from 1997 to 1999. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to determine the relationship between health-related quality of life and physical activity among subjects with mental disorders.

Results: Affective, anxiety, and substance dependence disorders were associated with substantial impairment in health-related quality of life. Higher levels of physical activity were associated with higher health-related quality of life among persons with mental disorders. Even after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, physically inactive subjects reported poorer quality of life.

Conclusions: Physical activity can be considered as beneficial for people suffering from mental disorders. The promotion of a physically active lifestyle is an important public health objective.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Quality of Life*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires