Relationship between self-rated health status and physical activity in obese South Indian patients


  • Virgin Joena Department of General Medicine, Velammal Medical College Hospital and Research Institute, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Ananda Xavier Pragasam Department of General Medicine, Velammal Medical College Hospital and Research Institute, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India



Obesity, Physical activity, Self-rated health


Background: Regular physical activity can improve people's overall health and reduce various risks for morbidity and mortality due to a sedentary lifestyle. Although the evidence linking obesity with many chronic diseases is well established, the relationship with self-rated health is not clear. The study aimed to assess the relationship between physical activity and self-rated health and how it is related to obesity.

Methods: The cross-sectional study included 132 individuals above18 years, of both genders, with BMI above 25kg/m2. Data was collected using a structured proforma which included apart from demographic parameters, anthropometry parameters, self-reported physical activity, health status and stress levels of the subjects. Chi-square test/Fisher's exact test was used to assess the association between BMI, physical activity and self-rated health.

Results: A total of 132 subjects were included with a mean age of 48.44±11.23 years, with an almost equal proportion of males and females. The mean of BMI was 29.54±3.99. Most of them reported having normal physical activity (61.36%) with only 3% of them having high physical activity. The self-rated health of the subjects revealed 45.45% of them is having fair health and 43.18% of them having poor health. The mean a number of hours spent by sitting/sedentary activity in a week were 32.32±21.09.

Conclusions: The study findings revealed that the irrespective of the degree of physical activity both overweight and obese subjects rated their health fair to poor.


DeSalvo KB, Bloser N, Reynolds K, He J, Muntner P. Mortality prediction with a single general self‐rated health question: A meta‐analysis. J General Int Med. 2006;21(3):267-5.

Brook RH, Ware JE, Davies-Avery A, Stewart AL, Donald CA, Rogers WH, et al. Overview of adult health status measures fielded in Rand's Health Insurance Study. Med Care. 1979;17(7):i-131.

Krause NM, Jay GM. What do global self-rated health items measure?. Med Care. 1994:930-42.

Piko B. Health-related predictors of self-perceived health in a student population: the importance of physical activity. J Comm Heal. 2000;25(2):125-37.

Shields M, Shooshtari S. Determinants of self-perceived health. Health reports. 2001;13(1):35-2.

Idler EL, Benyamini Y. Self-rated health and mortality: a review of twenty-seven community studies. J Health Social Behavior. 1997:21-3.

Organisation WH. The world health report 2002: reducing risks, promoting healthy life: World Health Organization. 2002. Available at:

Idler EL, Kasl SV. Self-ratings of health: do they also predict change in functional ability? J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 1995;50(6): S344-53.

Idler EL, Russell LB, Davis D. Survival, functional limitations, and self-rated health in the NHANES I epidemiologic follow-up study, 1992. Am J Epidemiol. 2000;152(9):874-3.

Miilunpalo S, Vuori I, Oja P, Pasanen M, Urponen H. Self-rated health status as a health measure: the predictive value of self-reported health status on the use of physician services and on mortality in the working-age population. J Clinic Epidemiol. 1997;50(5):517-28.

Onadja Y, Bignami S, Rossier C, Zunzunegui MV. The components of self-rated health among adults in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Populat Health Metrics. 2013;11(1):15.

Simon JG, De Boer JB, Joung IM, Bosma H, Mackenbach JP. How is your health in general? A qualitative study on self-assessed health. Euro J Pub Heal. 2005;15(2):200-8.

Bergeron MF, Mountjoy M, Armstrong N, Chia M, Côté J, Emery CA, et al. International Olympic Committee consensus statement on youth athletic development. Br J Sports Med. 2015;49(13):843-51.

Roberto CA, Swinburn B, Hawkes C, Huang TT, Costa SA, Ashe M, et al. Patchy progress on obesity prevention: emerging examples, entrenched barriers, and new thinking. Lancet. 2015;385(9985):2400-9.

Emerging risk factors collaboration. Separate and combined associations of body-mass index and abdominal adiposity with cardiovascular disease: collaborative analysis of 58 prospective studies. Lancet. 2011;377 (9771):1085-95.

Singh GM, Danaei G, Farzadfar F, Stevens GA, Woodward M, Wormser D, et al. The age-specific quantitative effects of metabolic risk factors on cardiovascular diseases and diabetes: a pooled analysis. PloS One. 2013;8(7):e65174.

Lauby-Secretan B, Scoccianti C, Loomis D, Grosse Y, Bianchini F, Straif K. Body fatness and cancer- viewpoint of the IARC Working Group. New Eng J Med. 2016;375(8):794-8.

Freyer-Adam J, Gaertner B, Tobschall S, John U. Health risk factors and self-rated health among job-seekers. BMC Public Health. 2011;11(1):659.

Manderbacka K, Lundberg O, Martikainen P. Do risk factors and health behaviours contribute to self-ratings of health?. Social Sci Med. 1999;48(12):1713-20.

Myers A, Rosen JC. Obesity stigmatization and coping: relation to mental health symptoms, body image, and self-esteem. Int J Obesity. 1999;23(3):221.

Myers A, Rosen JC. Obesity stigmatization and coping: relation to mental health symptoms, body image, and self-esteem. Int J Obesity. 1999;23(3):221.

Imai K, Gregg EW, Chen YJ, Zhang P, De Rekeneire N, Williamson DF. The association of BMI with functional status and self‐rated health in US adults. Obes. 2008;16 (2):402-8.

Jylhä M. What is self-rated health and why does it predict mortality? towards a unified conceptual model. Social Sci Med. 2009;69(3):307-16.

Schnittker J. When mental health becomes health: age and the shifting meaning of self‐evaluations of general health. Milbank Quart. 2005;83(3):397-423.

Spiers N, Jagger C, Clarke M, Arthur A. Are gender differences in the relationship between self-rated health and mortality enduring? Results from three birth cohorts in Melton Mowbray, United Kingdom. Gerontol. 2003;43(3):406-11.

Case A, Paxson C. Sex differences in morbidity and mortality. Demograp. 2005;42(2):189-214.

Krause L, Lampert T. Relation between overweight/obesity and self-rated health among adolescents in Germany. Do socio-economic status and type of school have an impact on that relation?. Int J Environm Res Pub Heal. 2015;12(2):2262-76.

Carr D, Friedman MA. Is obesity stigmatizing? Body weight, perceived discrimination, and psychological well-being in the United States. J Health Soc Behav. 2005;46(3):244-59.

Friedman MA, Brownell KD. Psychological correlates of obesity: moving to the next research generation. Psychol Bull. 1995;117(1):3.

Granger E, Williams G, Di Nardo F, Harrison A, Verma A. The relationship between physical activity and self-rated health status in European adolescents: Results of the EURO-URHIS 2 survey. Euro J Pub Heal. 2017;27 (2):107-11.

Abu-Omar K, Rutten A, Robine JM. Self-rated health and physical activity in the European Union. Soz Praventiv Med. 2004;49(4):235-42.

Young DR, Jerome GJ, Chen C, Laferriere D, Vollmer WM. Peer reviewed: Patterns of physical activity among overweight and obese adults. Prevent Chronic Dis. 2009;6(3).

Freidoony L, Chhabi R, Kim C, Park M, Kim CB. The components of self-perceived health in the Kailali District of Nepal: a cross-sectional survey. Int J Environ Res Pub Heal. 2015;12(3):3215-1.

Cullati S, Mukhopadhyay S, Sieber S, Chakraborty A, Burton-Jeangros C. Is the single self-rated health item reliable in India? A construct validity study. BMJ Global Health. 2018;3(6):e000856.

Falk H, Skoog I, Johansson L, Guerchet M, Mayston R, Hörder H, Prince M, Prina A, et al. Self-rated health and its association with mortality in older adults in China, India and Latin America-a 10/66 Dementia research group study. Age Ageing. 2017;46(6):932.

Paluska SA, Schwenk TL. Physical activity and mental health. Sports Med. 2000;29(3):167-80.

Strauss RS, Rodzilsky D, Burack G, Colin M. Psychosocial correlates of physical activity in healthy children. Arch Pediatr Adolescent Med. 2001;155(8):897-902.

Nelson ME, Rejeski WJ, Blair SN, Duncan PW, Judge JO, King AC, et al. Physical activity and public health in older adults: recommendation from the American college of sports medicine and the American heart association. Circ. 2007;116(9):1094.






Original Research Articles