Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Quality of Life in Premenopausal and Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Midwifery, Research Center of Social Determinants of Health, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

3 Associate, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Knowledge Utilization Research Center, School of Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 M.Sc. Student of midwifery, Student Research Committee, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.


Introduction: Menopause is a physiological event which can have physical, mental, and social consequences for women and affect their quality of life. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of aerobic exercise in women’s quality of life during premenopausal and postmenopausal periods.
Methods: This randomized controlled trial was conducted on 54 healthy, married, premenopausal and postmenopausal women, aged 45-60 years, in Kaleibar city in 2013. The participants were randomly allocated into two groups of 27 subjects. The intervention group followed an exercise program including walking three times per week for 12 weeks. The control group received no interventions. Quality of life was assessed by the menopause quality of life questionnaire (MENQOL), recorded at baseline and 8 and 12 weeks after the intervention. Lower scores indicate better quality of life and less severe symptoms of menopause. For data analysis, Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, Chi-square, and repeated measures ANOVA were performed, using SPSS version 18. P-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: By controlling MENQOL score before the intervention, the mean total score of MENQOL in the intervention group was significantly lower than that of the control group after 8 [adjusted mean difference: −7.8 (95% confidence interval: −13.7 to −1.9)] and 12 weeks [−12.9 (−17.8 to −7.9)]. Scores of psychosocial and physical domains were significantly lower in the intervention group, compared to the control group 8 and 12 weeks after the intervention; a similar finding was obtained regarding the vasomotor domain 12 weeks after the intervention (P<0.05). However, there was no significant difference in sexual domain between the two groups (P=0.46).
Conclusions: As the results indicated, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise improves quality of life in premenopausal and postmenopausal women.


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