The effects of marital transitions on changes in physical activity: results from a 10-year community study

Ann Behav Med. 1998 Spring;20(2):64-9. doi: 10.1007/BF02884450.


The potential effects of making a marital transition on subsequent physical activity were evaluated across a ten-year period in a population-based sample of 302 women and 256 men ages 25 to 75 years. Subjects completed a structured interview at five timepoints throughout the ten-year period during which they reported on their physical activity level as well as marital status. The transition from a married to a single state did not affect physical activity relative to remaining married when analyses of either slopes or mean values were used. In contrast, the transition from a single to a married state resulted in significant positive changes in physical activity relative to remaining single throughout the study period when physical activity slopes, though not means, were compared. The results suggest that marriage may potentially set the stage for natural changes in physical activity that could be capitalized on through appropriate intervention, but additional research is needed to verify this in light of the inconsistent pattern of findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marital Status*
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Risk Factors