Daily Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior and Alcohol Use in At-Risk College Students

Ashley B. West, Rachel N. Bomysoad, Michael A. Russell, David E. Conroy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The college years present an opportunity to establish health behavior patterns that can track across adulthood. Health behaviors tend to cluster synergistically however, physical activity and alcohol have shown a positive association. Purpose: This study applied a multi-method approach to estimate between- and within-person associations between daily physical activity, sedentary behavior and alcohol use among polysubstance-using college students. Methods: Participants were screened for recent binge drinking and either tobacco or cannabis use. They wore an activPAL4 activity monitor and a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor continuously in the field for 11 days, and completed daily online questionnaires at the beginning of each day to report previous day physical activity, sedentary behavior, and alcohol consumption. Results: Participants (N = 58, Mage = 20.5 years, 59% women, 69% White) reported meeting national aerobic physical activity guidelines (75%) and drinking 2-4 times in the past month (72%). On days when participants reported an hour more than usual of daily sedentary behavior, they reported drinking for less time than usual (γ= -.06). On days when participants took 1,000 more steps than usual, the longest episode of continuous transdermal alcohol detection was shorter (γ= -.03). Conclusions: Daily physical activity and sedentary behavior were negatively associated with time-based measures of alcohol use with the lowest risk on days characterized by both activity and sedentary behavior. Intensive longitudinal monitoring of time-based processes can provide new insights into risk in multiple behavior change and should be prioritized for future work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)712-725
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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