Associations between exercise and health behaviors in a community sample of working adults

Kerri N. Boutelle, David M. Murray, Robert W Jeffery, Deborah J Hennrikus, Harry A Lando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Background. The present study examined the associations between leisure- time exercise and a range of health behaviors and reports of illness and injury in a sample of community working adults. Methods. The study population included 4907 women and 4136 men who completed surveys in 24 worksites in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. Results. Participants in the study were ranked by gender according to their exercise score and grouped into quartiles. Women and men in the highest activity quartiles were more highly educated and were younger. High-activity men were more likely to be unmarried. Higher levels of leisure-time exercise were positively associated with seat belt use and inversely related to smoking, dietary fat intake, reported stress, and obesity. In men only, leisure-time exercise was related to greater reports of injuries resulting in restriction of usual activities. In women only, leisure-time exercise was positively associated with daily alcohol use. Most of the significant associations were seen in the two highest quartiles of exercise. Conclusions. These findings suggest that associations between leisure-time exercise and health behaviors occur at the higher levels of exercise and interventions may need to promote this higher level of leisure-time exercise to impact overall public health. (C) 2000 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-224
Number of pages8
JournalPreventive medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Grant HL 52909 to Dr. Robert Jeffery.


  • Alcohol consumption
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Health
  • Hospitalization
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking
  • Stress


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