Sleep disturbance, obesity, physical fitness and quality of life in older women: EXERNET study group

Climacteric. 2017 Feb;20(1):72-79. doi: 10.1080/13697137.2016.1264934. Epub 2017 Jan 2.


Objectives: To investigate the association between physical fitness, obesity, health related quality of life (HRQoL) and sleep disturbance in 463 community-dwelling older Spanish women (66-91 years of age).

Study design: Cross-sectional study.

Method: Sleep disturbance was assessed with the Jenkins Sleep Scale. Active and sedentary behaviors were recorded by standardized questionnaires. HRQoL was assessed with the EuroQoL-5D. Anthropometric measurements were obtained using standardized techniques. Body fat was measured using bioelectrical impedance. Physical fitness was evaluated by a set of eight tests.

Results: Sleep disturbance was reported by 45.1% of women, being associated with higher body mass index (p < 0.05) and waist circumference (p < 0.01). Presence of insomnia was inversely associated with physical fitness. Women in the upper tertile of fitness index had 92.0% lower risk of sleep disturbance as compared to the lower tertile (p = 0.08), while women in the highest tertile of upper body strength had 76.4% lower risk of sleep disturbance as compared to the lower tertile (p < 0.05). Women without sleep disturbance showed better HRQoL.

Conclusion: Sleep disturbance was associated with central obesity, lower physical fitness and reduced HRQoL. Interventions involving weight management and improvement of physical fitness may contribute to better sleep quality in older women.

Keywords: Sleep disturbance; aging; body fat; fitness.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obesity, Abdominal / complications*
  • Obesity, Abdominal / physiopathology
  • Obesity, Abdominal / psychology
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / physiopathology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Waist Circumference