Physical Activity Level and Adult Saudi Health Related Quality of Life


Purpose: Physical inactivity in Saudi Arabia is a growing challenge to public health. This study aimed to define the relationship between the physical activity level (PAL) and adult Saudi health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Methods: Participants of this study were 100 Saudi adult aged from 18 - 70 years. The 36-Item Short-Form Health Status Survey (SF-36) was used to measure the participant’s HRQoL. The SF-36 is comprised of 8 domains. The electronic version of the General Practice Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to categorize participants in terms of physical activity level into; inactive, moderately inactive, moderately active, and active. Descriptive and inferential statistical tests were used to treat the collected data. Results: Results showed that only 17% of the Saudi adults had active PAL. The PAL had significantly positive relationship with 4 domains of HRQoL including: physical functioning (P = 0.004), role limitations caused by physical health problems (P = 0.048), vitality (P = 0.009), and general health (P = 0.044). Results also confirmed that the younger the subject, the higher the PAL (P = 0.0001) and the better the HRQoL. This is true for all domains except the role limitations caused by emotional problems and emotional wellbeing. Conclusion: The poor physical activity level of adult Saudi negatively impacts their HRQoL.

Share and Cite:

El-Sobkey, S. (2014) Physical Activity Level and Adult Saudi Health Related Quality of Life. Open Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 2, 106-133. doi: 10.4236/ojtr.2014.23015.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Anokye, N., Trueman, P., Green, C., Pavey, T. and Taylor, R. (2012) Physical Activity and Health Related Quality of Life. BMC Public Health, 12, 624.
[2] Khalaf, A., Ekblom, Ö. and Al-Hazzaa, H. (2013) Female University Students’ Physical Activity Levels and Associated Factors—A Cross-Sectional Study in Southwestern Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10, 3502-3517.
[3] Al-Hazzaa, H. (2010) Physical Inactivity in Saudi Arabia. An Underserved Public Health Issue. Saudi Medical Journal, 31, 1278-1279.
[4] Khawaja, M., Dawns, J., Meyerson-Knox, S. and Yamout, R. (2008) Disparities in Child Health in the Arab Region during the 1990s. International Journal for Equity in Health, 7, 24.
[5] Al-Nozha, M., Al-Hazzaa, H., Arafah, M., Al-Khadra, A., Al-Mazrou, Y., Al-Maatouq, M., et al. (2007) Prevalence of Physical Activity and Inactivity among Saudis Aged 30-70 Years. A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study. Saudi Medical Journal, 28, 559-568.
[6] Heron, N., Tully, M., McKinley, M. and Cupples, M. (2014) Physical Activity Assessment in Practice: A Mixed Methods Study of GPPAQ Use in Primary Care. BMC Family Practice, 15, 11-19.
[7] A Guide to General Practice Physical Activity Questionnaire.
[8] General Practice Physical Activity Questionnaire.
[9] Electronic Template of General Practice Physical Activity Questionnaire.
[10] World Health Organization Definition of Health.
[11] Hays, R. and Morales, L. (2001) The RAND-36 Measure of Health-Related Quality of Life. Annals of Medicine, 33, 350-357.
[12] Ware, J. and Sherbourne, C. (1992) The MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). I. Conceptual Framework and Item Selection. Medical Care, 30, 473-483.
[13] Hays, R., Sherbourne, C. and Mazel, R. (1993) The RAND 36-Item Health Survey 1.0. Health Economics, 2, 217-227.
[14] Patel, A., Donegan, D. and Albert, T. (2007) The 36-Item Short Form. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 15, 126-134.
[15] Chai, W., Nigg, C., Pagano, I., Motl, R., Horwath, C. and Dishman, R. (2010) Associations of Quality of Life with PA, Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, and Physical Inactivity in a Free Living, Multi-Ethnic Population in Hawaii: A Longitudinal Study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 7, 83.
[16] Bize, R., Johnson, J. and Plotnikoff, R. (2007) Physical Activity Level and Health-Related Quality of Life in the General adult Population: A Systematic Review. Preventive Medicine, 45, 401-415.
[17] Al Abdulmohsin, S., Goons, S., Draugalis, J. and Hays, R. (1997) Translation of the RAND 36-Item Health Survey 1.0 (aka SF-36) into Arabic. RAND, 7995-8020.
[18] How to Score SF-36 Questionnaire.
[19] Lee, I., Shiroma, E., Lobelo, F., Puska, P., Blair, S. and Katzmarzyk, P. (2012) Effect of Physical Inactivity on Major Non-Communicable Diseases Worldwide: An Analysis of Burden of Disease and Life Expectancy. Lancet, 380, 219-229.
[20] Al-Eisa, E. and Al-Sobayel, H. (2012) Physical Activity and Health Beliefs among Saudi Women. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2012, Article ID: 642187.
[21] González, G. and Sedentarism, M. (2013) Active Lifestyle and Sport: Impact on Health and Obesity Prevention. Nutrición Hospitalaria, 28, 89-98.
[22] Adamu, B., Sani, M. and Abdu, A. (2006) Physical Exercise and Health: A Review. Nigerian Journal of Medicine, 15, 190-196.
[23] Prasad, D. and Das, B. (2009) Physical Inactivity: A Cardiovascular Risk Factor. Indian Journal of Medical Sciences, 63, 33-42.
[24] Conti, A. and Macchi, C. (2013) Protective Effects of Regular Physical Activity on Human Vascular System. La Clinica Terapeutica, 164, 293-294.
[25] Leung, F., Yung, L., Laher, I., Yao, X., Chen, Z. and Huang, Y. (2008) Exercise, Vascular Wall and Cardiovascular Diseases: An Update (Part 1). Sports Medicine, 38, 1009-1024.
[26] Blomqvist, C. (1983) Cardiovascular Adaptation to Physical Training. Annual Review of Physiology, 45, 169-189.
[27] Mutikainen, S., Perhonen, M., Alén, M., Leskinen, T., Karjalainen, J., Rantanen, T., Kaprio, J. and Kujala, U.M. (2009) Effects of Long-Term Physical Activity on Cardiac Structure and Function: A Twin Study. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 8, 533-542.
[28] Hägg, U., Wandt, B., Bergström, G., Volkmann, R. and Gan, L. (2005) Physical Exercise Capacity Is Associated with Coronary and Peripheral Vascular Function in Healthy Young Adults. American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 289, 1627-1634.
[29] Cheng, Y., Macera, C., Addy, C., Sy, F., Wieland, D. and Blair, S. (2003) Effects of Physical Activity on Exercise Tests and Respiratory Function. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 37, 521-528.
[30] Vuori, I. (1995) Exercise and Physical Health: Musculoskeletal Health and Functional Capabilities. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 66, 276-285.
[31] Scully, D., Kremer, J., Meade, M., Graham, R. and Dudgeon, K. (1998) Physical Exercise and Psychological Well Being: Acritical Review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 32, 111-120.
[32] Martinsen, E. (1995) Effect of Exercise on Mental Health in Clinical Populations. In: Biddle, S.J.H., Ed., European Perspectives on Exercise and Sport Psychology, Human Kinetics, Champaign, 71-90.
[33] Heesch, K., Uffelen, J., Gellecum, Y. and Brown, W. (2012) Dose-Response Relationships between Physical Activity, walking and Health-Related Quality of Life in Mid-Age and Older Women. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 66, 670-677.
[34] Alzahrani, H. and Sehlo, M. (2013) The Impact of Religious Connectedness on Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients with Diabetic Foot Ulcers. Journal of Religion and Health, 52, 840-850.
[35] Sarvimäki, A. and Stenbock-Hult, B. (2000) Quality of Life in Old Age Described as a Sense of Well-Being, Meaning and Value. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 32, 1025-1033.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.