Relationships among Meeting Physical Activity Guidelines and Health Risk Behaviors

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Journal of Physical Activity and Health






Background: Young adults have the highest incidence of physical activity (PA), but also have the highest incidence rates of binge drinking (BD), cigarette smoking, and smokeless tobacco use. Researchers examined the relationships among these factors to determine if there are relationships among PA and health risk behaviors.

Methods: Researchers conducted correlation and chi-square analyses using the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment fall 2009 data set (n=34,208) to examine the relationship among meeting PA guidelines, BD, and tobacco use among survey participants.

Results: The data suggest a positive relationship between meeting PA guidelines and BD, with the strongest relationship between those reporting BD four times in a two week period of time. Meeting PA guidelines was negatively associated with cigarette use, but positively associated with all other types of tobacco use.

Conclusions: Associations between PA and BD episodes indicates a need to address the relationship between heavy drinking and alcohol dependence and physical activity behavior patterns. Further studies should examine relationships between PA and BD in other age groups. Results also suggest the need to examine differing associations between PA and types of tobacco use.