The purpose of the study was to recognise relationships between participation in leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and smoking and alcohol consumption among former athletes (FA) and individuals with no sports experience (NA). In Spring-Summer periods in the years 1997-2002 within the purposively sampled groups of FA (n=312) and people NA (n=417) - an anonymous survey was conducted concerning their socioeconomic status, participation in LTPA, smoking and alcohol consumption. The age of examined FA and NA ranged from 18 to 51 years. Respondents' participation in LTPA was measured as follows: frequency, time and forms of LTPA. For evaluation of respondents' smoking status in the last six months the following categories were used: I do not smoke, I smoked occasionally, I smoked 1 to 10 cigarettes/day, and I smoked more than 10 cigarettes/day. Variables describing alcohol consumption involve frequency of drinking alcohol beverages and type of consumed alcohol beverages. It has shown that among male FA was a significantly lower rate of non-smokers, as compared to male NA. No correlation was found between LTPA and smoking and alcohol consumption among women FA and NA. Negative correlation between participation in LTPA and smoking and alcohol consumption was found in both male groups. The results obtained allow us to draw a conclusion that promoting participation in competitive sports or LTPA is a valuable means to complement intervention programmes focused on the reduction and elimination of tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption addressed to men.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.