Racing toward health? Exploring the public health potential of community-based road races
methods: This study quantifies the proportion of highly active participants in a community-based 5k and explores measured and self-reported PA during race preparation between novice, defined as less than six months of prior PA, and veteran exercisers. Validated self-report surveys (N=437) and pedometer-recorded step counts (N=50) were collected in the month prior to the race; PA level (high ≥ 3000 MET/wk; moderate <3000 ≥600 MET/wk; low <600 MET/wk) was compared between groups.
results: Increased PA in training was reported by 49.8% of women (N=218) including more veterans than novices (51.4% vs 43.8%, p=0.20) yet most women (62.4%, N=274) were only moderately active in training. High PA was achieved by 28.4% (N=124) of all women. Novices were significantly less likely to be highly active (12.4% vs 32.5%, p<0.001) but trained in response to physician recommendation (50.6% vs 26.7%, p<0.001) more often than did veteran exercisers.
conclusion: Novice and veteran participants differed in health indicators and pre-event PA. Despite lower PA, participation was a stimulus for increased PA, particularly in response to physician recommendations. Continued study assessing changes in post-event PA to evaluate the sustained impact on the health habits of women is recommended.
Learning Areas:Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Describe differing physical activity levels women participating in a community 5k and discuss the potential use of such races as a public health strategy to increase national physical activity.
Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Women's Health
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Assistant Professor of Public Health and am PI for this grant in which I lead study design and analysis. I have previously directed several other studies of physical activity and weight-related health indicators.
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.