The exercise effect on psychological well-being in older adults—a systematic review of longitudinal studies



The aim of this systematic review was to investigate the longitudinal relationship between physical activity (PA) and the psychological domains of well-being in older adults and to identify possible moderators and mediators of this relationship. Twelve longitudinal investigations were included in this review. The results indicate that there seems to be a positive association between PA and psychological well-being over time. Thus PA may be one possible individual lifestyle factor for the long-term promotion of psychological well-being in older adults. Especially leisure time PA at light intensities conducted in group settings was identified to be beneficial for promoting psychological well-being. Furthermore, longitudinal results indicated that self-efficacy, self-esteem, affect, optimism, and pre-interventional motivation moderated/mediated the relationship between PA and psychological well-being in older adults.


Physical activity Psychological well-being Quality of life Longitudinal association 

Der Effekt körperlicher Aktivität auf das psychische Wohlbefinden bei älteren Erwachsenen – ein systematisches Review längsschnittlicher Studien


Ziel dieses systematischen Reviews war es, die längsschnittliche Assoziation zwischen körperlicher Aktivität und dem psychischen Wohlbefinden bei älteren Erwachsenen zu untersuchen und mögliche Moderatoren und Mediatoren dieser Beziehung zu identifizieren. Zwölf Längsschnittstudien konnten in das Review einbezogen werden. Die Ergebnisse deuten darauf hin, dass ein positiver Zusammenhang zwischen körperlicher Aktivität und dem psychischen Wohlbefinden über die Zeit besteht. Somit kann körperliche Aktivität als ein potenzieller individueller Lebensstilfaktor für die langfristige Förderung des psychischen Wohlbefindens bei älteren Erwachsenen angesehen werden. Es scheint, dass sich vor allem Freizeitaktivitäten mit niedriger Intensität, die in Gruppen durchgeführt werden, positiv auf das psychische Wohlbefinden auswirken. Des Weiteren zeigen die längsschnittlichen Ergebnisse, dass Selbstwirksamkeit, Selbstwertgefühl, Affekt, Optimismus und die Motivation vor Interventionsbeginn einen Einfluss auf die Beziehung zwischen körperlicher Aktivität und psychologischem Wohlbefinden bei älteren Personen haben.


Körperliche Aktivität Psychologisches Wohlbefinden Lebensqualität Längsschnittliche Assoziation 


Compliance with ethical guidelines

Conflict of interest

I. Bragina and C. Voelcker-Rehage declare that they have no competing interests.

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sports Psychology, Institute of Human Movement Science and Health, Faculty of Behavioral and Social SciencesChemnitz University of TechnologyChemnitzGermany

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