Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Young adults drop exercise with move to college or university

Date:
December 19, 2011
Source:
McMaster University
Summary:
Regular exercise tends to steeply decline among youth as they move to university or college, and does not appear to revert itself, but continues on a downward trajectory into adulthood.

Regular exercise tends to steeply decline among youth as they move to university or college, according to a study by researchers at McMaster University.

Researchers found a 24 per cent decrease in physical activity over the 12 years from adolescence to early adulthood. The steepest declines were among young men entering university or college.

The research recently appeared in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The study, based on Statistics Canada's National Population Health Survey, followed 683 Canadian adolescents 12 to 15 years old, who were interviewed twice a year until they were 24 to 27 years of age.

While the children were most active, the research suggests that this advantage quickly disappears.

"This is a critical period, as the changes in physical activity during the transition from late adolescence to early adulthood represents the most dramatic declines in physical activity across a person's life," said Matthew Kwan, the principal investigator for the study and a postdoctoral fellow of the Department of Family Medicine of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

"In particular, the transition into post-secondary is a one-time period when individuals become much less active."

Risk estimates suggest 20 per cent of premature deaths could be prevented with regular physical activity. Yet, recent data show 85 per cent of Canadian adults are not active enough to meet the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity a week.

Public health campaigns encourage Canadians to be more active but the McMaster researchers say little work has been done to prevent the decline in physical activity and they suggest this issue should be made a priority.

For the study, physical activity was measured by estimating the amount of total energy used during leisure activities over a three-month period during the transition from adolescence into early adulthood, including the move to college or university.

The researchers found the rate of decline in physical activity was greater for men than for women, who showed only a modest 1.7 per cent decrease in their overall activity levels; however, the women were less active in high school.

"It may be that girls experience the greatest declines in physical activity earlier in their adolescence," said Kwan.

For comparative purposes, the researchers also examined other health-risk behaviours of smoking and binge drinking. While both increased through adolescence, the researchers found the behaviours began to plateau or decrease in early adulthood; suggesting that individuals may be maturing out of these health-risk behaviours.

Conversely, Kwan added, physical activity decline does not appear to revert itself, but continues on a downward trajectory into adulthood.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McMaster University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Matthew Y. Kwan, John Cairney, Guy E. Faulkner, Eleanor E. Pullenayegum. Physical Activity and Other Health-Risk Behaviors During the Transition Into Early Adulthood. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2012; 42 (1): 14 DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2011.08.026

Cite This Page:

McMaster University. "Young adults drop exercise with move to college or university." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111215232728.htm>.
McMaster University. (2011, December 19). Young adults drop exercise with move to college or university. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111215232728.htm
McMaster University. "Young adults drop exercise with move to college or university." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111215232728.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins