Examining physical activity levels and alcohol consumption: are people who drink more active? Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: Summarize/categorize current scientific literature examining the association between alcohol consumption (AC) and levels of physical activity (PA). DATA SOURCE: Electronic databases spanning education, psychology, sociology, medicine, and interdisciplinary reports. STUDY INCLUSION AND EXCLUSION CRITERIA: Included studies (n =17) must be published in a peer-reviewed, English language journal; measure either AC or PA as an independent/dependent variable; and primarily examine the relationship between AC and PA. DATA EXTRACTION: Search terms/phrases included alcohol, alcohol consumption, drinking, physical activity, exercise, and physically active. DATA SYNTHESIS: The Matrix Method and PRISMA guidelines organized pertinent literature and identified/extracted salient findings. RESULTS: Alcohol consumers of all ages were more physically active than nondrinking peers. Further, several studies suggest a dose-response relationship between AC and PA, indicating that as drinking increases, so does PA level. CONCLUSION: Reviewed studies support a positive association between AC and PA across all ages. Findings were contrary to the hypothesis of the investigators. Future research should place specific emphasis on identifying why alcohol consumers exercise at higher levels than non-alcohol consumers.

published proceedings

  • Am J Health Promot

altmetric score

  • 11.172

author list (cited authors)

  • Piazza-Gardner, A. K., & Barry, A. E.

citation count

  • 88

publication date

  • January 2012