Cecilia Winberg, M.Sc., Ulla-Britt Flansbjer, Ph.D., Gunilla Carlsson, Ph.D., James Rimmer, Ph.D., Jan Lexell, M.D., Ph.D.
To promote a healthy and active lifestyle there is a need to increase our knowledge of the level of physical activity (PA) among people with late effects of polio.
To examine PA in people with late effects of polio and to assess the relationship between PA, life satisfaction and various sociodemographic factors.
PA was assessed in 81 persons with late effects of polio using the Physical Activity and Disability Survey (PADS) and by a pedometer. Life satisfaction was assessed with the Life Satisfaction Questionnaire (LiSat-11).
The amount of PA varied considerably but on average the participants were physically active almost 3 h per day, mostly in household activities. The mean value of the pedometer counts was 6212 steps per day (SD = 3208). Sixty-nine percent of the participants rated themselves as satisfied with life as a whole. The sum of PADS was positively and significantly related to the number of steps (r = 0.39, p < 0.001), increasing age (r = 0.26, p < 0.05) and to the level of global satisfaction with life (rho = 0.23, p < 0.05). The number of steps was also positively and significantly associated with level of global satisfaction with life (rho = 0.37, p < 0.001).
Despite a progressive physical disability, people with late effects of polio are physically active, but much of the activities are performed as part of their household activities and not as traditional exercise. The relationship between PA, life satisfaction and age further supports the general contention that an active lifestyle is an important factor for perceived well-being among older people.