Abstract P275: Physical Activity Among Married Couples in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study
The positive impact of physical activity on health is broadly recognized; however, there has been little progress toward meeting population targets for physical activity levels. Although similarities in some health behaviors have been shown in couples, there are few reports on the concordance of change in physical activity among married couples. We studied this concordance and changes over time in physical activity among 3,261 married couples from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study during a 6-year period (from visit 1: 1987-1989 to visit 3: 1993-1995). Physical activity was measured using the Baecke questionnaire and indices ranged from 1 (low) to 5 (high). At visit 1, mean (SD) sport/exercise index was 2.6 (0.8) for men and 2.4 (0.8) for women, while the leisure index was 2.4 (0.5) for men and 2.5 (0.6) for women. Correlations between spouses were 0.20 for the sport/exercise index and 0.22 for the leisure index. In linear regression models adjusted for individual and spousal characteristics, change in physical activity over the 6 year period in one spouse was positively associated with change in activity in the other spouse: men: β 0.10 (95% CI 0.06-0.14) and women: β 0.08 (95% CI 0.05-0.11) for the sport/exercise index; men: β 0.08 (95% CI 0.05-0.11) and women: β 0.09 (95% CI 0.05-0.12) for the leisure index. At visit 1, if one spouse met physical activity recommendations, the other spouse was significantly more likely to meet the same recommendations: men: OR 1.56 (95% CI 1.34-1.83) and women: 1.56 (95% CI 1.33-1.82). Among men not physically active at visit 1, those whose spouse met recommendations at both visits were most likely to begin to meet recommendations (OR compared to wives who never met recommendations: 1.70 (95% CI 1.23-2.36). Results were similar in women (Figure). In conclusion, changes in an individual’s physical activity are positively associated with changes in his or her spouse’s physical activity. Our findings support strategies promoting physical activity among couples.
Author Disclosures: L.K. Cobb: None. J.G. Godino: None. E. Selvin: None. A. Kucharska-Newton: None. J. Coresh: None. S. Koton: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.