The Relationship Between Physical Activity and Care-Seeking Behavior Among Employed Adults

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Abigail Sherman Katz
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Nicolaas Petrus Pronk
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Physical activity is regarded an important health behavior. Routine doctor visits, dentist visits, and willingness to seek phone advice from a nurse are considered important care-seeking behaviors (ie, behaviors that reflect the way in which people seek and access health care delivery resources available to them). Employers promote physical activity as well as care-seeking behavior to protect and promote health, optimize productivity, and manage health care costs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between physical activity and 3 care-seeking behaviors among a sample of 5500 employed adults.


Data were obtained from employee health assessments. Logistic regression was used to test the relationship between physical activity and care-seeking behavior.


Physical activity was positively associated with all 3 measures of care-seeking behavior: doctor visits (P < .001), dentist visits (P < .001), and willingness to seek phone advice from a nurse (P < .05). For individuals reporting chronic conditions, physical activity was negatively associated with doctor visits for the condition (P < .05) and positively associated with self-perceived health (P < .001).


Physical activity is associated with important care-seeking behaviors for employees with and without chronic conditions.

The authors are with HealthPartners and HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research, Minneapolis, MN.

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