Leisure-time physical activity in individuals with osteoporosis : associations with psychological well-being
Gunnell, Katie E.
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With approximately 16% of the Canadian population living with osteoporosis, and rates expected to increase (Osteoporosis Canada, 2009), cost-effective treatment modalities that improve bone health and psychological well-being reflect an important public health agenda. Physical activity has been implicated as one non-pharmaceutical mechanism to help improve psychological well-being in the general population (Fox, Stathi, McKenna, & Davis, 2007) and in people diagnosed with osteoporosis (Osteoporosis Canada, 2007). The purpose of this investigation was to determine the association between leisure-time physical activity (LTP A) and well-being in people diagnosed with osteoporosis. A secondary purpose, using Basic Needs Theory (BNT; Deci & Ryan, 2002) was to determine if the fulfillment of three psychological needs (i.e., competence, autonomy and relatedness) mediated the relationship between LTP A and well-being. People diagnosed with osteoporosis (N= 190; Mage = 68.14; SDage = 11.54) were asked to complete a battery of questionnaires assessing L TP A, hedonic and eudaimonic well-being and perceived psychological need satisfaction in physical activity contexts. Bivariate correlations revealed a pattern of negligible (r's -0.02 to 0.35) to small correlations between LTP A and well-being with contextual positive affect (r = 0.24) and subjective vitality (r = 0.22) demonstrating statistical significance (p < .01). Results of the multiple mediation analysis indicated that perceived satisfaction of the three psychological needs mediated the relationship between LTPA and well-being with perceived competence emerging as a unique mediator. As such, LTP A was positively associated with well-being in people who are diagnosed with osteoporosis, and the fulfillment of the three psychological needs may be the mechanism through which this 111 effect is carried. Health promotion specialists and practitioners should encourage patients with osteoporosis to engage in LTP A, and support their needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness. Practical implications for researchers and health promotion specialists are discussed in terms ofthe results of this investigation.