Association Between Self-Reported Resistance Training and Self-Rated Health in a National Sample of U.S. Men and Women

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Self-rated health (SRH) is a predictor of several clinical outcomes, including mortality. Physical activity is associated with SRH; however, the specific role that resistance training (RT) plays in this relationship is unknown. We explored the independent association between self-reported RT and SRH in a cross-sectional survey (National Physical Activity and Weight Loss Study; NPAWLS) conducted by the University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center in 2002.


Subjects were 9651 men and women (mean age 46.5 yrs) classified as having high or low SRH; and they were categorized into 2 groups: (1) meeting nationally recommended levels for RT (≥2 days/week); (2) not meeting levels (<2 days/week or no RT).


Meeting national recommendations was associated with male gender (P < .01), normal BMI (P < .01), and higher education (P < .01). When compared to individuals with low SRH, those with high SRH were 2 times as likely to meet recommended levels of RT (OR = 2.32; 95% CI = 1.96 to 2.76). The model modestly attenuated when fully adjusted for confounding variables, including other exercise (OR = 1.79; 95% CI = 1.49 to 2.15).


This study identifies the specific positive relationship between RT and SRH, further supporting the health benefits of meeting the national recommendations for RT.

Ciccolo is with Brown Medical School and the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI. Pettee Gabriel is with the Dept of Health Promotion, Social, & Behavioral Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE. Macera is with the School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA. Ainsworth is with the Dept of Exercise and Wellness, Arizona State University–Polytechnic Campus, Mesa, AZ.