Ashley Walker, Jody Langdon and Krystina Johnson
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jennifer L. Copeland, Cheryl Currie, Ali Walker, Erin Mason, Taura N. Willoughby and Ashley Amson
Providing freely accessible exercise facilities may increase physical activity at a population level. An increasingly popular strategy is outdoor fitness equipment in urban parks. Few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of this intervention in smaller cities. This study examined fitness equipment use, perceived effectiveness, and ways to increase use in a city of 100,000 people in 2015.
Two parks with fitness equipment and 4 without were directly observed. Interviews with 139 adults in active parks or living nearby were also conducted.
Only 2.7% of adult park users used the fitness equipment over 100 hours of observation across 3 seasons. In contrast, 22.3% of adults interviewed reported monthly or more use of the equipment, highlighting the limitations of self-report methods. Adults interviewed perceived the equipment as potentially beneficial and suggested strategies to increase public use, including increased advertising, the introduction of programming to teach and encourage use, improved equipment quality, and improved maintenance of the equipment and surrounding area.
In a low density city, park fitness equipment may not be an effective public health practice without additional efforts to market, introduce programming, and maintain these sites.