A1 Journal article (refereed)
Associations between muscular strength and mental health in cognitively normal older adults : a cross-sectional study from the AGUEDA trial (2024)

Bellón, D., Rodriguez-Ayllon, M., Solis-Urra, P., Fernandez-Gamez, B., Olvera-Rojas, M., Coca-Pulido, A., Toval, A., Martín-Fuentes, I., Bakker, E. A., Sclafani, A., Fernández-Ortega, J., Cabanas-Sánchez, V., Mora-Gonzalez, J., Gómez-Río, M., Lubans, D. R., Ortega, F. B., & Esteban-Cornejo, I. (2024). Associations between muscular strength and mental health in cognitively normal older adults : a cross-sectional study from the AGUEDA trial. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 24(2), Article 100450. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijchp.2024.100450

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsBellón, Darío; Rodriguez-Ayllon, María; Solis-Urra, Patricio; Fernandez-Gamez, Beatriz; Olvera-Rojas, Marcos; Coca-Pulido, Andrea; Toval, Angel; Martín-Fuentes, Isabel; Bakker, Esmée A.; Sclafani, Alessandro; et al.

Journal or seriesInternational Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology



Publication year2024

Publication date19/03/2024


Issue number2

Article number100450


Publication countrySpain

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/94857

Publication is parallel publishedhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10960140/


To examine the associations between muscular strength and mental health.

We used baseline data of 91 cognitively healthy older adults (71.69 ± 3.91 years old, 57 % women) participating in the AGUEDA randomized controlled trial.

Muscular strength was assessed using both objective (i.e., handgrip strength, biceps curl, squats, and isokinetic test) and perceived (i.e., International Fitness Scale) indicators. Psychological ill-being indicators: anxiety, depression, stress, and loneliness; and psychological well-being indicators: satisfaction with life, self-esteem, and emotional well-being) were assessed using a set of valid and reliable self-reported questionnaires. Linear regression analyses were performed adjusting for sex, age, years of education, body mass index , alcohol, diet, and smoking (model 1), and additionally by cardiorespiratory fitness (model 2).

Elbow extension was positively associated with stress in model 1 (β = 0.252, 95 % Confidence Interval [95 % CI] = 0.007 to 0.497, p = 0.044), and even after further adjustment for cardiorespiratory fitness (β = 0.282, 95 % CI = 0.032 to 0.532, p = 0.028). Perceived strength was negatively associated with depressive symptoms in model 1 (β = -0.271, 95 % CI = -0.491 to -0.049, p = 0.017) and model 2 reported associations tending towards significant (β = -0.220, 95 % CI = -0.445 to 0.005, p = 0.055). Handgrip strength was positively associated with self-esteem in model 1 (β = 0.558, 95 % CI = 0.168 to 0.949, p = 0.006) and model 2 (β = 0.546, 95 % CI = 0.135 to 0.956, p = 0.010). No further associations were found among other muscular strength and mental health variables.

Handgrip had a moderate association with self-esteem and there was a small association between perceived strength with depressive symptoms and elbow extension with stress. No other associations were observed between muscular strength and mental health outcomes in cognitively normal older adults.

Keywordsmuscle fitnessmuscle strengthstrength trainingageingadultshealthmental well-beingmental ill-healthself-esteemsymptomscross-sectional research

Free keywordsmuscular fitness; aging; psychological ill-being; psychological well-being; self-esteem

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2024

Preliminary JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-15-06 at 01:05