Exercise Pace Picks Up After Walk Down The Aisle

October 27, 1998

Wedding bells often signal the start of a surge in physical activity for newly married men and women, say researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine.

"The results suggest that marriage may potentially set the stage for natural changes in physical activity that could be capitalized on through appropriate intervention," write Abby C. King, PhD, and her colleagues in Annals of Behavioral Medicine (Vol. 20, No. 2).

In their study, 302 women and 256 men from central California ages 25 to 75 years were evaluated five times over 10 years. Most were white and had some college education. At each evaluation, they reported their marital status and activity level. A seven-point scale was used to describe the latter. The singles-to-marrieds was the only group whose activity levels increased during the second data collection period. Before their weddings, however, they reported lessening physical activity. Researchers speculate that this is "due to stress or time pressures that might occur in preparing to make a transition to a married state."

The 23 participants who went from married to being single showed the same pattern of physical activity as did the 395 who remained married, but the 35 new brides and grooms reported a pattern of increases in physical activity in the several years following marriage, compared to the 105 who remained single.

By the tenth year, however, all four groups showed about the same activity levels, and all had declined slightly since the first year. Marriage did not change overall levels of physical activity. It apparently caused a temporary shift, and that, to researchers, spells "window of opportunity."

"Increasingly, health behavior change has been conceptualized as a series of psychological processes or stages," write Dr. King and colleagues. "Specifically, a life-span perspective encourages an increased focus on periods and transitions in life when behaviors such as physical activity may be significantly altered."

Grants from the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute and the National Institute on Aging supported this work.

Annals of Behavioral Medicine is the official peer-reviewed publication of The Society of Behavioral Medicine. For information about the journal, contact editor Arthur Stone, PhD, (516) 632-8833.

Posted by the Center for the Advancement of Health http://www.cfah.org. For information about the Center, contact Richard Hebert rhebert@cfah.org at (202) 387-2829.

Center for Advancing Health

Related Physical Activity Articles from Brightsurf:

Physical activity in the morning could be most beneficial against cancer
The time of day when we exercise could affect the risk of cancer due to circadian disruption, according to a new study with about 3,000 Spanish people  

Physical activity and sleep in adults with arthritis
A new study published in Arthritis Care & Research has examined patterns of 24-hour physical activity and sleep among patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and knee osteoarthritis.

Regular physical activity seems to enhance cognition in children who need it most
Researchers at the Universities of Tsukuba and Kobe re-analyzed data from three experiments that tested whether physical activity interventions lead to improved cognitive skills in children.

The benefits of physical activity for older adults
New findings published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports reveal how physically active older adults benefit from reduced risks of early death, breast and prostate cancer, fractures, recurrent falls, functional limitations, cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and depression.

Physical activity may protect against new episodes of depression
Increased levels of physical activity can significantly reduce the odds of depression, even among people who are genetically predisposed to the condition.

Is physical activity always good for the heart?
Physical activity is thought to be our greatest ally in the fight against cardiovascular disease.

Physical activity in lessons improves students' attainment
Students who take part in physical exercises like star jumps or running on the spot during school lessons do better in tests than peers who stick to sedentary learning, according to a UCL-led study.

Physical activity may attenuate menopause-associated atherogenic changes
Leisure-time physical activity is associated with a healthier blood lipid profile in menopausal women, but it doesn't seem to entirely offset the unfavorable lipid profile changes associated with the menopausal transition.

Are US adults meeting physical activity guidelines?
The proportion of US adults adhering to the 'Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans' from the US Department of Health and Human Services didn't significantly improve between 2007 and 2016 but time spent sitting increased.

Children from disadvantaged backgrounds do less vigorous physical activity
Children from disadvantaged backgrounds and certain ethnic minority backgrounds, including from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds, have lower levels of vigorous physical activity, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge.

Read More: Physical Activity News and Physical Activity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.