Do older adults with multimorbidity meet the recommended levels of physical activity? An analysis of Scottish health survey
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There is a positive association between physical activity (PA) and improved health in older adults. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence and determinants of meeting recommended levels of PA among older adults with multimorbidity. Data has been derived from the nationally representative Scottish Health Surveys (2014–2017). A sub-sample of 2230 older adults (aged 65+) with multimorbidity were the study participants. Physical activity was evaluated using current recommended guidelines. Overall, 32.3% of the participants met the recommended levels of PA. Independent predictors of meeting the recommended levels of PA include male gender [odds ratio (OR) 2.00 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.58–2.54)], living in the least deprived areas [OR 1.79 (95% CI 1.20–2.69)]; being a non-smoker [OR 2.22 (95% CI 1.48–3. 34)]. Also, meeting recommended PA decreased with age [OR 0.92 (95% CI 0.90–0.94)] and body mass index [OR 0.93 (95% CI 0.91–0.95]; but increased per additional portion of fruit and vegetables taken [OR 1.19 (95% CI 1.12–1.25)] and with increase in well-being scale score [OR 1.05 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.06)]. Adherence to PA guidelines seems to be more related to age, BMI, gender (i.e. higher PA adherence in men vs. women), social support (i.e. social deprivation), dietary habits (i.e. fruit and vegetable intake) and social isolation among the elderly. In the one-third of older population, adherence to PA was associated to better mental health. Therefore, adaptation of PA guideline to suit theses determinants factors would reduce the gap difference among older adults with multimorbidity and enhance their mental well-being.