The effect of functional tasks exercise and resistance exercise on health-related quality of life and physical activity. A randomised controlled trial

Gerontology. 2007;53(1):12-20. doi: 10.1159/000095387. Epub 2006 Aug 25.


Background: Data regarding the effect of exercise programmes on older adults' health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and habitual physical activity are inconsistent.

Objective: To determine whether a functional tasks exercise programme (enhances functional capacity) and a resistance exercise programme (increases muscle strength) have a different effect on the HRQOL and physical activity of community-dwelling older women.

Methods: Ninety-eight women were randomised to a functional tasks exercise programme (function group), a resistance exercise programme (resistance group), or normal activity group (control group). Participants attended exercise classes three times a week for 12 weeks. The SF-36 Health Survey questionnaire and self-reported physical activity were obtained at baseline, directly after completion of the intervention (3 months), and 6 months later (9 months).

Results: At 3 months, no difference in mean change in HRQOL and physical activity scores was seen between the groups, except for an increased SF-36 physical functioning score for the resistance group compared with the control group (p = 0.019) and the function group (p = 0.046). Between 3 and 9 months, the self-reported physical functioning score of the function group decreased to below baseline (p = 0.026), and physical activity (p = 0.040) decreased in the resistance group compared with the function group.

Conclusions: Exercise has a limited effect on the HRQOL and self-reported physical activity of community-living older women. Our results suggest that in these subjects HRQOL measures may be affected by ceiling effects and response shift. Studies should include performance-based measures in addition to self-report HRQOL measures, to obtain a better understanding of the effect of exercise interventions in older adults.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Exercise* / physiology
  • Exercise* / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance
  • Quality of Life*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome