Smoking and physical activity: a systematic review

Am J Health Behav. 2008 Jan-Feb;32(1):93-110. doi: 10.5555/ajhb.2008.32.1.93.


Objectives: To better understand the co-occurrence of smoking and physical inactivity.

Methods: A review of 5 databases identified 50 articles reporting empirical relationships between smoking and physical activity (PA).

Results: Almost 60% of the articles reported a definitely negative association, but this relationship was often attenuated or reversed among adolescents and males and for moderate (vs vigorous) exercise. Stages of change for smoking and PA were relatively unrelated.

Conclusion: Smoking and PA are largely incongruent behaviors. Potential explanations for the observed relationships are described. These ranged from physiological (eg, lung function) to psychological (eg, depression) to socio-demographic (eg, education) factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Ontario
  • Smoking*