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W-09 Exercise is Medicine/Poster - Exercise is Medicine: JUNE 2, 2010 7: 30 AM - 12: 30 PM: ROOM: Hall C

Association between Physical Activity and Health Behaviors in Colombian Medical Students


Board #65 June 2 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Norris, Jeffrey1; Pratt, Michael FACSM1; Duperly, John2; Lobelo, Felipe1

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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2010 - Volume 42 - Issue 5 - p 263
doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000386651.08817.16
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A major predictor of physicians' attitudes towards health behavior counseling is their own personal health behaviors, including physical activity (PA). However, in the physician population, the relationships between physical activity and other health behaviors are not well characterized.

PURPOSE: To determine the association between PA and 6 health behaviors.

METHODS: From 2006-2008, 2,166 1st and 5th year Colombian medical students were surveyed using an adapted version of the "Healthy Doctor-Healthy Patient" instrument. Responses were coded as meeting/not meeting international recommendations for: PA (≥ 150 mins per week), not binge drinking, not heavy drinking, not smoking, fruit & vegetable consumption (≥ 5 servings per day), normal BMI, and TV viewing per day (< 2 hours). The independent variable was defined as meeting/not meeting PA recommendations. The dependent variable was defined as the following combinations of the remaining behaviors: 1) six pairs of data describing meeting/not meeting recommendations for at least 1 through 6 behaviors (regardless of behavior) and 2) meeting/not meeting recommendations for specific behaviors individually, in pairs, & in triads. Logistic regressions were performed adjusting for socio-demographic variables including gender, socioeconomic status, year in school, public/private school, and regional school location.

RESULTS: Prevalence of meeting PA recommendations was 59%. For definition 1) of the dependent variable, 4 of 6 logistic regressions showed that physically active students had higher odds of meeting more recommendations for remaining health behaviors (significant associations: OR range 1.4-7.7, p-value range: 0.0498-0.0007). For specific behaviors, physically active students had higher odds of meeting recommendations for not binge drinking (OR 1.4, p = 0.0005), fruit and vegetable consumption (OR 1.7, p < 0.0001), and 10 pairs & 14 triads of health behaviors.

CONCLUSION: Among Colombian medical students, physical activity is associated with individual and clusters of positive health behaviors. This association suggests PA may affect the adoption and maintenance of other health behaviors. Future interventions aimed at improving PA in this population should also measure potential changes in other health behaviors.

© 2010 American College of Sports Medicine