Research Question:
What is the relationship between different life patterns and physical exercise? What can influence any change in physical exercise over a 10 year period?
Summary of Key Evidence:
The comparison of the 1980 and 1991 participants was basically random. The selection considered participants from the 1980 Peachtree Road race of which 25000 had registered. The study involved a sample of 1250 people randomly selected of which 693 were men while 730 were women, the percentage being 55% and 58% respectively. Furthermore, considering that the event is purely for recreational purposes, only 3% of the 1980 group was seeded in 1990.In the 1991 follow-up, the study was basically dependent on the mailing list that was provided in 1980.
Considering that people are bound to change within a 10 year period, only 438 and 304 men and women respectively from the original sample were present, an indication of 63% and 42% respectively. The study group sent an initial mailing to 742 of the original 1423 and a follow-up sent 6 weeks later. In the long run,   only 535 people responded,326 men and 609 women indicating a response rate of  72% of those that managed to retain their addresses,38% of the cohort in the original study,21% that were from the original sample and 2% from the 1980 race.
The data were obtained primarily from questionnaires and direct t interviews with the focus on basic data such as smoking status, the height and weight, educational attainment and the extent of running particularly on an annual basis. More data obtained was on the extent of an injury and any reason whatsoever that might have forced someone to quit. The basal metabolic index obtained was 19.50 to 24.49 for men while that for women was 18.50 to 23.49.The last bit of information to be obtained was that on medication with the respondents providing informed consent on the information.
The findings from the research indicated that 44% and 41% of men and women may be regarded to be in the 40-49 age group according to the survey conducted in 1991.Furthermore, the results indicated that the BMI was within range for both groups and that except for a little group, the others could be defined to be in the normal body range with no one exhibiting any type of obesity. In respect to smoking, only 3% indicated being current smokers while 11 of the 15 were over the age of 40.In terms of education, 10% had completed high school, 90% had completed college and 41% had attended graduate school.
On to the running status of the 535 respondents, 56% indicated that they are continually engaged in running, 9% have temporarily stopped while 35% do not run. Men indicated that injuries and being busy were the major causes for the temporary stop while injury was the main cause for permanent stoppage of running On the side of women, childcare and choice of an alternative form of exercise were the major causes of stoppage of running, 36% and 28% respectively.
Overall, men and women exhibited similar patterns. The people who ceased to exercise increased from 18 to 102 between the years 1981 and 1990.Furthermore, the group of people who continued to run without taking part in another form of exercise decreased rapidly while the group of people who stopped running regardless of whether they took other forms of exercise or not increased over the period. In this regard, it was estimated that the probability of continuing to run for 10 years was 0.71 for men and 0.56 for women. Furthermore, the findings indicated that running was related to sex as well as age with 78% of men within the age group of 30-39 still runners while 22% women above 60 continued to run.
In terms of blinding, the individuals were not subjected to any routine outside their normal as the assessment was done annualy with the end results being compiled after 10 years, Furthermore, considering the assessment was done on an annual basis from the years 1980 to 1991, the validity of the data may be regarded as good as there was no result doctoring whatsoever. Finally, the data may not be generalized to the whole population since the data was primarily taken on the participants of the Peachtree road race.
The study may provide the blueprint on how to assess the effects of daily activities on the exercise patterns of individuals. Furthermore, researchers in this type of therapy may use the data provided to come up with various therapeutical measures that ensure people continually get engaged in physical activities. Finally, the data obtained may give a good indication of the implication of various lifestyles on various health problems and possible risks.
Kaplan, J. P., Rothenberg, R. B., & Jones, e. L. (n.d.). The natural history of exercise: a 10-year follow-up of a cohort of runners. Atlanta,.GA: National center for chronic disease, prevention, and health promotion, centers for disease control and prevention.