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The role of physical activity in the relationship between self-perceptions of ageing and self-rated health in older adults

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 07:58 authored by Beyer, A-K, Wolff, JK, Warner, LM, Benjamin SchuezBenjamin Schuez, Wurm, S
Objective: Positive self-perceptions of ageing are associated with better health; however, little is known about the potentially underlying mechanisms. The present longitudinal study examines whether the relationship between self-perceptions of ageing and self-rated health is mediated by physical activity in older adults with multiple chronic conditions.

Design: A sample of 309 German community-dwelling older adults aged 65-85 years with two or more chronic conditions was assessed at three measurement occasions over 2.5 years. Participants provided information on self-perceptions of ageing, physical activity, self-rated health, number of chronic conditions and demographics (T1). Physical activity was reassessed six months later (T2) and self-rated health after 2.5 years (T3). Data were analysed using multiple regression and path analyses.

Main outcome measures: Self-rated health and physical activity.

Results: More positive self-perceptions of ageing were related to better self-rated health over a 2.5-year period controlling for confounding variables. Physical activity six months after T1 partially mediated this relationship.

Conclusion: Having more positive self-perceptions of ageing is associated with higher levels of physical activity, which in turn predict better self-rated health over time. This supports the hypothesis of a behavioural pathway in the self-perceptions of ageing - health link.


Publication title

Psychology & Health










School of Psychological Sciences



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 Taylor and Francis

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Behaviour and health