The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between daily physical activity (daily activities, exercise, and sitting time), cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), and body composition (body mass index [BMI], waist to hip ratio [WHR)] with menopausal symptoms and to determine the strongest predictor(s) of menopausal symptoms.
The Menopause Rating Scale questionnaire was used to examine somatic, psychological, urogenital, and total symptoms of menopause. The energy expenditure of daily physical activity, exercise, and sitting time was measured by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, and CRF was measured by estimating the maximal oxygen intake (VO2max) through the Rockport test. Statistical methods of the Pearson correlation coefficient and hierarchical multiple linear regression were used for data analysis.
Fifty-six women, aged 50 to 65 years, voluntarily participated in the study. Exercise energy expenditure was inversely correlated with total (r = −0.403, P = 0.002), somatic (r = −0.293, P = 0.023), and urogenital (r = −0.343, P = 0.009) symptoms of menopause. VO2max was inversely correlated with urogenital symptoms of menopause (r = −0.414, P = 0.002). WHR was positively correlated with somatic symptoms of menopause (r = 0.286, P = 0.032); sitting was correlated with total (r = 0.40, P = 0.002), somatic (r = 0.325, P = 0.015), and psychological (r = 0.274, P = 0.015) symptoms of menopause. Among the study variables, sitting (β=0.365, P = 0.004) and VO2max (β=−0.286, P = 0.030) were the most important predictors of total symptoms of menopause; sitting was the predictor of somatic symptoms (β=0.265, P = 0.045), and VO2max was the predictor of urogenital symptoms of menopause (β=−0.332, P = 0.014). The inclusion of age, BMI, WHR, and duration of menopause as confounding variables in regression analysis did not change the findings related to the predictions of menopausal symptoms.
Reducing sitting time, improving VO2max, decreasing WHR, and exercise can be recommended by priority to alleviate menopausal symptoms. Considering the small number of participants in this investigation, future studies are, however, recommended.