This study aimed to examine the association of muscle-strengthening activity with knee and low back pain, falls, and health-related quality of life among Japanese older adults. A cross-sectional survey targeted 3,000 people. The response rate was 52% and 208 respondents did not meet the inclusion criteria. Therefore, 1,351 individuals were analyzed. Muscle-strengthening activity (exercise using equipment and body weight, lifestyle activities), knee and low back pain, falls over the past year, health-related quality of life (SF-8), and potential confounders were assessed. Individuals engaging in exercise using body weight and lifestyle activity (≥ 2 days/week) were more likely to have knee pain. Engaging in exercise using equipment and body weight was associated with higher scores of general health. These results indicate that exercise using equipment and body weight might have a positive effect on health-related quality of life, but muscle-strengthening activities are associated with knee pain in older people.
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