Published: 2019-05-24

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

Virgin Joena, Ananda Xavier Pragasam


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.


Obesity, Physical activity, Self-rated health

Full Text:



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.