Published: 2022-08-26

A critical study of the difference in general health between physically active and inactive people: secondary data analysis and report

Nay Thiha, Pa Pa Soe, Francois Xavier Babin, Louis Delorme, Hla Hla Win, Philippe Clevenbergh


Background: The aim of the study was to provide evidence-based information on the difference in the general health of physically active and inactive people considering their physical and mental health and quality of life.

Methods: This study report was prepared using the dataset from the survey of health, ageing, and retirement in Europe (SHARE) after completing three registration steps for data access at The dataset included 77,261 participants, all persons 50 years and above from 28 European countries. SHARE data collection of wave 7 took place in European countries in 2017.

Results: In this study, there was a statistically significant difference in general health between people who are physically active and inactive, considering their mental health (depression, suicidality, sleep, and irritability, fatigue, and concentration levels), physical health (BMI), quality of life, and grip strength. The adjusted odds ratio showed a significant difference between the physical activities regarding depression, suicidality, fatigue, concentration, maximum grip, BMI, and quality of life. Sleep and irritability have no significant impact after adjusting the confounders such as max grip, quality of life, general awareness, and BMI.

Conclusions: The study results support the research hypothesis that there is a statistically significant difference in general health between physically active and inactive people considering their mental health. The results confirm that unsound mental health, unhealthy weight, and poor grip strength were significantly higher among physically inactive people.


Grip strength, Mental health, Physical activity, Quality of life

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