Online Program

Work hard, play hard: Examining the contradiction between binge drinking and exercise behavior in first-year greek-affiliated college students

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.

Christine Hackman, PhD, CHES, CSCS, Kinesiology Department, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA
Sarah Rush, BS, MA, Department of Health Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Hannah Priest, CHES, MAED, Department of Health Science, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Stuart Usdan, PhD, Department of Health Science, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Meg E. Sheppard, PhD, CHES, College of Graduate Health Studies, A.T. Still University, Kirksville, MO
M. Renée Umstattd Meyer, PhD, MCHES, Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, Baylor University, Waco, TX
Laura L. Talbott, PhD, CHES, Department of Human Studies, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
A large body of research has established that a majority of college students engage in regular exercise. Regular exercise can be used as a strategy to inhibit high risk behaviors such as cigarette smoking and drinking in young adult populations. However, there has been conflicting evidence establishing the association between regular exercise and binge drinking in the college population. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between different types of exercise (moderate and vigorous aerobic, and resistance training), perceived health status, importance of health, and binge drinking behaviors with first-year fraternity and sorority pledges at a large southeastern university. Our sample consisted of 1,373 college students during their first semester pledging a greek-affiliated organization, 69.0% of which were female, with 61.7% reporting binge drinking at least twice in the last 2 weeks and, 45.5% reporting vigorous exercise 2 or more times in the past week. Chi Square analyses revealed there was no association between vigorous exercise and binge drinking. This study is consistent with findings from other researchers that demonstrate the contradiction between regular vigorous exercise and unhealthy binge drinking behaviors in a high-risk population (greek-affiliated, first year students). This data also indicates that despite a majority of new greek members placing a high importance on health and consider themselves very healthy, they still report frequent binge drinking. Future examination of the disconnect between exercise and binge behaviors and motivations behind both exercising and binge drinking among college students may further explain this anomaly.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the association between exercise and binge drinking behaviors among high-risk college students. Discuss the contradiction between the perception of healthy behaviors and binge drinking behaviors.

Keyword(s): Binge Drinking, Exercise

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a MA in Kinesiology- Exercise Science and I am interested in the health habits of college students. I have been doing literature reviews and learning about the college student population and exercise behaviors over the past few months.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.