Physical Activity and its Associations with other Lifestyle Elements in Polish Women

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Maria Alicja Nowak

The aim of the study was to determine associations between physical activity and other elements of women’s lifestyle (nutrition, being a nonsmoker, moderate alcohol consumption, medical check-ups). Between 1999 and 2004, 1361 women aged 20-75 were studied. They were inhabitants of cities located in the west of Poland and engaged in physical activity (purposeful selection). The subjects fell into four groups depending on the length of their physical exercise history: G I – those who had been exercising for 1 year; G II [1-4); G III [4-6); G IV [≥7). The diagnostic poll method was employed, (questionnaire and interview techniques). For the verification of the research hypotheses concerning the influence of socio-demographic factors on women’s physical activity, the evaluation of changes in health-related behaviors resulting from long term physical activity, indication of associated behaviors, the independence χ2 test and multiple correspondence analysis were used. Women’s physical activity was found to be related to maintenance of proper weight (BMI) (p≤0.05), moderate consumption of low-alcohol beverages (p≤0.05) and regular dental check-ups (p≤0.05). Despite more frequent attempts to take up smoking, the respondents gave up the habit two times as often as the whole population of women in Poland. These correlations were more apparent among women with longer exercise histories, who mostly had post-secondary education. Occurrence of associated behaviors affecting health positively and negatively was also shown, the latter concerning a smaller group of respondents. The noticed correlations between physical activity and health behaviors, which comprehensively influence lifestyle, may be of importance in gradual reduction of risk factors.
DOI: 10.2478/v10078-011-0050-9
Key words
physical activity, women, lifestyle, health behaviors

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