Correlation between prior exercise and present health and fitness status of entering medical students

J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2003 Aug;103(8):361-6.


Four hundred forty-one students were tested for strength, agility, flexibility, and endurance as well as for body fat, heart rate, and blood pressure. Questionnaires estimated prior exercise, sleep, diet, and leisure habits. Students were more fit than published norms. Their reported prior exercise habits correlated positively with estimated VO2max. Positive results of endurance tests correlated with better eating habits and lower blood pressure. Strong correlation existed between reported exercise and lower body fat, heart rate, and diastolic blood pressure. Blood pressure was in the hypertensive range in 57 individuals, and high blood pressure correlated with higher body weight, percent body fat, and resting heart rate. The authors concluded that most incoming medical students are fit and physically active. Positive correlations exist between prior exercise habits, performance on fitness tests, and indicators of reduced health risks. There was high correlation between risk factors for heart disease and measured blood pressure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Osteopathic Medicine / education
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Students, Medical*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States