Physical Activity, Enjoyment and Quality of Life among Institutionalised Older Adults in Malaysia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Nizar Abdul Majeed Kutty, Mohammed Abdul Razzaq Jabbar, NG Kylie


Purpose: In many nations across the world it has become a priority to stimulate increased physical activity (PA) among elderly persons.  This study aimed to find the association between physical activity patterns and enjoyment of physical activity and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among institutionalised older adults in Malaysia.

Method: A sample of institutionalised older adults (n=134, mean age = 73.72; SD = 8.59) was recruited from the Klang valley in Malaysia. In cross-sectional analyses, their physical activity, enjoyment of physical activity and quality of life were screened using the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly, the 8-item Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale and the EuroQuol-5 Dimensions-5 Levels questionnaires, respectively. High levels of physical activity were associated with enjoyment of physical activity and health-related quality of life.

Results: In total, 41% of the participants met the guidelines of the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly and 53% enjoyed physical activity. A positive correlation was found between the level of physical activity and its enjoyment (rs = .355, p <.001). Significant correlations were recorded between the dimensions of health-related quality of life and the level of physical activity (p < 0.001), except for pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression.

Conclusion: Providing opportunities for institutionalised older adults to engage in a variety of activities might help them to identify the kind of physical activity they enjoy and facilitate a lifelong physical activity routine.


Physical activity; older adults; enjoyment of physical activity; health-related quality of life

Full Text:



Ashe MC, Miller WC, Eng JJ, Noreau L (2009). Older adults, chronic disease and leisure-time physical activity. Gerontology; 55(1): 64-72. PMid:18566534 PMCid:PMC3167824

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015). Participation in sport and physical recreation, Australia. Available at: abs@.nsf/mf/4177.0 [Accessed on 26 Mar 2019].

Bodur S, Cingil DD (2009).Using WHOQOL-BREF to evaluate quality of life among Turkish elders in different residential environments. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Ageing; 13(7): 652-656. PMid:19621202

Burton E, Lewin G, Boldy D (2013). Physical activity levels of older adults receiving a home care service. Journal of Ageing and Physical Activity; 21(2): 140-154. PMid:22832235

Chen YM (2010). Perceived barriers to physical activity among older adults residing in long-term care institutions. Journal of Clinical Nursing; 19(3-4): 432-439. PMid:20500283

Chou WT, Tomata Y, Watanabe T, Sugawara Y, Kakizaki M, Tsuji I (2014). Relationships between changes in time spent walking since middle age and incident functional disability. Preventive Medicine; 59: 68-72. PMid:24291684

Dacey M, Baltzell A, Zaichkowsky L (2008). Older adults' intrinsic and extrinsic motivation towards physical activity. American Journal of Health Behavior; 32: 570-582. PMid:18442337

Franco MR, Tong A, Howard K, Sherrington C, Ferreira PH, Pinto RZ, Ferreira ML (2015). Older people's perspectives on participation in physical activity: a systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative literature. British Journal of Sports Medicine; 49(19): 1-9. PMid:25586911

Ganse B, Degens H, Drey M, Korhonen MT, McPhee J, Muller K, Rittweger J (2014). Impact of age, performance and athletic event on injury rates in master athletics - first results from an ongoing prospective study. Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions; 14(2): 148-154.

Geneen LJ, Moore RA, Clarke C, Martin D, Colvin LA, Smith BH (2017). Physical activity and exercise for chronic pain in adults: An overview of Cochrane Reviews. The Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews; 4(4): CD011279.

Gray PM, Murphy MH, Gallagher AM, Simpson EE (2016). Motives and barriers to physical activity among older adults of different socioeconomic status. Journal of Ageing and Physical Activity; 24: 419-429. PMid:26671896

Grimmett C, Bridgewater J, Steptoe A, Wardle J (2011). Lifestyle and quality of life in colorectal cancer survivors. Quality of Life Research; 20(8): 1237-1245. PMid:21286822

Hagberg L, Lindahl B, Nyberg L, Helleniu ML (2009). Importance of enjoyment when promoting physical exercise. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports; 19(5): 740-747. PMid:18694433

Halaweh H, Willen C, Grimby-Ekman A, Svantesson U (2015). Physical activity and health-related quality of life among community dwelling elderly. Journal of Clinical Medicine Research; 7(11): 845-52. PMid:26491496. PMCid:PMC4596265

Kaur J, Kaur G, Ho BK, Yao WK, Salleh M, Lim KH (2015). Predictors of physical inactivity among elderly Malaysians: Recommendations for policy planning. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health; 27(3): 314-322. PMid:24425796

Krol-Zielinska M, Kusy K, Zielinski J, Osinski W (2011). Physical activity and functional fitness in institutionalised vs. independently living elderly: A comparison of 70-80 year-old city-dwellers. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatric; 53(1): e10-e16. PMid:21035201

Lewis BA, Williams DM, Frayeh A, Marcus BH (2016). Self-efficacy versus perceived enjoyment as predictors of physical activity behaviour. Psychology & Health; 31(4): 456-469. PMid:26541890 PMCid:PMC4769927

Maden-Wilkinson TM, McPhee JS, Rittweger J, Jones D (2013). Thigh muscle volume in relation to age, sex and femur volume. Age (Dordrecht, Netherlands); 36(1): 383-393. PMid:23934008 PMCid:PMC3889894

Miranda LCV, Soares SM, Silva PAB (2016). Quality of life and associated factors in elderly people at a Reference Center. Ciencia & Saude Coletiva; 21(11): 3533-3544.

Mullen SP, Olson EA. Phillips SM, Szabo AN, Wojcicki TR, Mailey EL, McAuley E (2011). Measuring enjoyment of physical activity in older adults: Invariance of the physical activity enjoyment scale (PACES) across group and time. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity; 8(1): 103. PMid:21951520 PMCid:PMC3206413

Obradovic M, Lal A, Liedgens H (2013). Validity and responsiveness of EuroQol-5 dimension (EQ-5D) versus Short Form-6 dimension (SF-6D) questionnaire in chronic pain. Health Quality Life Outcomes; 11: 110. PMid:23815777 PMCid:PMC3722016

Oh SH, Kim DK, Lee SU, Jung SH, Lee SY (2017). Association between exercise type and quality of life in community-dwelling older people: A cross-sectional study. PloS one; 12(12): e0188335. PMid:29216283 PMCid:PMC5720695

Onunkwor OF, Al-Dubai SA, George PP, Arokiasamy J, Yadav H, Barua A, Shuaibu HO (2016). A cross-sectional study on quality of life among elderly in non-governmental organisations' elderly homes in Kuala Lumpur. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes; 14(6): 1-10. PMid:26753811 PMCid:PMC4709911

Pernambuco C, Rodrigues B, Bezerra J, Carrielo A, Fernandes A, Vale R, Dantas E (2012). Quality of life, elderly and physical activity. Health; 4: 88-93.

Power GA, Dalton B, Behm DG, Vandervoort AA, Doherty TJ, Rice CL (2010). Motor unit number estimates in masters runners: Use it or lose it? Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise; 42(9): 1644-1650. PMid:20142771

Ramocha LM, Louw QA, Tshabalala MD (2017). Quality of life and physical activity among older adults living in institutions compared to the community. South African Journal of Physiotherapy: 73(1): 1-6. PMid:30135899 PMCid:PMC6093104

Roberts CK, Hevener AL, Barnard RJ (2013). Metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance: underlying causes and modification by exercise training. Comprehensive Physiology; 3(1): 1-58.

Roh KH, Park HA (2013). A meta-analysis of the effect of walking exercise on lower limb muscle endurance, whole body endurance and upper body flexibility in elders. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing; 43(4): 536-546. PMid:24071758

Ruby MB, Dunn EW, Perrino A, Gillis R, Viel S (2011). The invisible benefits of exercise. Health Psychology; 30: 67-74. PMid:21299296

Sobal J, Hanson K (2010). Marital status and physical activity in U.S. adults. International Journal of Sociology of the Family; 36(2): 181-198.

Tricco AC, Thomas SM, Veroniki AA, Hamid JS, Cogo E, Strifler L, Khan PA, Robson R, Sibley KM, MacDonald H, Riva JJ, Thavorn K, Wilson C, Holroyd-Leduc J, Kerr GD, Feldman F, Majumdar SR, Jaglal SB, Hui W, Straus SE (2017). Comparisons of interventions for preventing falls in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the American Medical Association; 318(17):1687-1699. PMid: 29114830 PMCid: PMC5818787

Tse MM, Wan VT, Ho SS (2011). Physical exercise: Does it help in relieving pain and increasing mobility among older adults with chronic pain? Journal of Clinical Nursing; 20(5): 635-644. PMid:21320192

United Nations (2017). World Population Ageing. Available at on 27 March 2019).

Vagetti GC, Barbosa VC, Moreira NB, Oliveira V, Mazzardo O, Campos W (2014). Association between physical activity and quality of life in the elderly: a systematic review, 2000-2012. The Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria; 36(1):76-88. PMid:24554274

Washburn RA, Smith KW, Jette AM, Janney CA (1993). The Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE): Development and evaluation. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology; 46(2): 153-162.

Yasunaga A, Togo F, Watanabe E, Park H, Shephard RJ, Aoyagi Y (2006). Yearlong physical activity and health-related quality of life in older Japanese adults: the Nakanojo Study. Journal of Ageing Physical Activity; 14(3): 288-301. PMid:17090806

Yasunaga A, Togo F, Watanabe E, Park H, Par S, Shephard R, Aoyagi Y (2008). Sex, age, season, and habitual physical activity of older Japanese: The Nakanojo study. Journal of Ageing and Physical Activity; 16(1): 3-13. PMid:18212390


Copyright (c) 2020 Nizar Abdul Majeed Kutty, Mohammed Abdul Razzaq Jabbar, NG Kylie

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Supported by:


© Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development