Article

Relationships Among Meeting Physical Activity Guidelines and Health Risk Behaviors

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Abstract

Background: Young adults have the highest participation in physical activity but also have the highest incidence rates of binge drinking, cigarette smoking, and smokeless tobacco use. We examined these factors to determine whether there are relationships among physical activity and health risk behaviors. Methods: We conducted correlation and χ2 analyses using the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment fall 2009 data set (N = 34,208) to examine the relationship among meeting physical-activity guidelines, binge drinking, and tobacco use among survey participants. Results: The data suggest a positive relationship between meeting physical-activity guidelines and binge drinking, with the strongest relationship between those reporting binge drinking 4 times in a 2-week period. Meeting physical-activity guidelines was negatively associated with cigarette use but positively associated with all other types of tobacco use. Conclusions: Associations between physical activity and binge-drinking episodes indicate a need to address the relationship between heavy drinking and alcohol dependence and physical-activity behavior patterns. Further studies should examine relationships between physical activity and binge drinking in other age groups. Results also suggest the need to examine differing associations between physical activity and types of tobacco use.

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... Among the emerging adult population, the majority of the literature reported a positive association between physical activity and alcohol use (k = 14, mean N = 4,876, SD = 9,270) [25,52,54,68,[73][74][75]78,79,82,111,113,116,118]. Fewer studies reported a null association (k = 5, mean N = 284, SD = 234) [28,56,90,92,95] or a negative association (k = 2, mean N = 804, SD = 781) [59,67]. ...
... Associations between physical activity and risky drinking patterns (i.e., binge drinking and heavy episodic drinking) were also identified among emerging adult college students. Meeting physical activity guidelines was associated with greater binge drinking [47,113], whereas engaging in more physical activity in general was positively associated with both binge drinking [29,111,118] and heavy episodic drinking [74,75]. ...
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The transition from adolescence into emerging adulthood is marked by changes in both physical activity and substance use. This systematic review characterized associations between movement behaviors (physical activity, sedentary behavior) and frequently used substances (alcohol, cannabis) among adolescents and emerging adults to inform lifestyle interventions that target multiple behavior change outcomes. This systematic review was guided by PRISMA. Electronic databases of PubMed, PsycINFO, and Web of Science were searched from inception through June 25, 2019. The search was designed to identify empirical studies reporting an association between physical activity or sedentary behavior and alcohol or cannabis, with search criteria determining eligibility based on several sampling characteristics (e.g., participants under 25 years of age). After identifying and screening 5,610 studies, data were extracted from 97 studies. Physical activity was positively associated with alcohol use among emerging adults, but the literature was mixed among adolescents. Sedentary behavior was positively associated with alcohol and cannabis use among adolescents, but evidence was limited among emerging adults. Self-report measures were used in all but one study to assess these behaviors. Physical activity is linked to greater alcohol use among emerging adults. Whereas existing studies demonstrate that sedentary behavior might serve as a risk marker for alcohol and cannabis use among adolescents, additional primary research is needed to explore these associations in emerging adults. Future work should also use device-based measures to account for timing of and contextual features surrounding activity and substance use in these populations.
... However, the prevalence of meeting these activity guidelines in the general adult population is unsatisfactory, with half of the US adults attaining fewer than 150 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during leisure time per week, by self-report [4]. Moreover, 2 studies in young adults [5] and youth aged 14 to 18 years [6] found that self-reported attainment of physical activity guidelines was positively associated with noncigarette forms of tobacco use (eg, electronic cigarettes) but inversely associated with cigarette smoking, suggesting that physical inactivity and cigarette smoking may be compounding risk factors. ...
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