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Joseph T. Ciccolo, Kelley K. Pettee Gabriel, Caroline Macera and Barbara E. Ainsworth


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.